How do you handle it? A question that has become as much a reflex as an inquiry in response to learning I have a child (young adult) living in Japan. Truthfully, it is a matter of 'which child' and experience. If it were kiddo #2, this would be a whole different post. And not because #2 is the 'baby' (even at about 6'3"), but mishap seems to have a way of finding him - its how he rolls. Admittedly he has shown improvement in how he handles it and for that I am both proud and grateful. Kiddo #1 on the other hand has a strong lineage of female stubbornness, independence, and just plain 'don't mess with me' attitude. You.do.not.want.to.piss.her.off. (sound familiar?) This is not to say she doesn't demonstrate a lot of her father's attributes, she is after all his mini-me. They think alike. They react alike. It is TEAM DAD all the way with those two and I would have it any other way. But back to "how do you do it?" A matter my brother and his wife will be addressing in the next month when their son moves from New York City to Tokyo. Something they will figure out in their own fashion because I suspect the 'how do' is defined on a case-by-case basis.
One thing for sure, I highly recommend Facetime. It is a lifesaver. Several times a week we fill our morning commute with a video conference with our daughter. So much better than the 70s channel on satellite radio. We talk about anything and everything, from the mundane "you need a haircut", to politics, to the latest Disney adventures. (yea, she is a Life-Disney-Mouseketeer). The subject of the conversation is relevant, but not as important as getting to see her, to witness that she is doing okay. That's the biggie.
How did our parents do it without cell phones, video chat, or the many 'immediate' connection techniques we have today to stay in touch with each other? Mom got by on the adage 'no news is good news' when she didn't hear from my sister for a month or two. Dear Lord, if that were my child I would be pulling up at their apartment door within a week or two of not hearing from them. I guess different generations.