What is the life of an average 5-year-old girl like? Having fun in kindergarten, learning the piano, joining dance classes, and most of all, growing up under the loving care of a mother, father, and a couple of doting grandparents? To many, maybe, but not to 5-year-old Anna Wang. Her father is in prison and her mother remarried, so the burden has fallen to Anna to become the sole carer for her household.
The Chinese news site Entertainment News recently reported her plight. In a small village in the remote mountain region of Guizhou in China, little Anna cares for the only adults in her home: her sick grandmother and 92-year-old great-grandmother.
When Anna was three months old, her mother left the home for another marriage. It was then that Anna’s grandmother cared for Anna, raising her from infancy. She taught Anna to do household chores and now, at 5 years old, Anna has become the strongest family member in the house and shoulders all the work.
In the morning, Anna helps her grandmother to freshen up and go to the toilet. Then she prepares breakfast and feeds her grandmother. In addition to preparing three meals a day, Anna must take care of the cleaning, washing, and harvesting of vegetables from the neighbor’s farmland for their sustenance.
Though she is just a child, Anna acts like an adult in order to take care of the old and weak in her care. She lives a very hard life. Yet she harbors no complaints, and only hopes for the good health of her grandmothers and that they may continue to keep her company.
Anna worries that her grandmothers may leave her one day. She is afraid that she may even forget how her father looks. She carries his photo with her, and often looks at it, hoping for his return. When the pressure becomes too much to bear, poor Anna feels sad and acts like a 5-year-old should.