No, I’m not talking about Kermit the Frog or saving the planet. I’m talking about the complex, hard-to-describe, beautiful, sometimes sad life that our kids know.
It comes under the category of TCK, formerly known as MK…Third Culture Kid or Missionary Kid.
TCKs have been integrally shaped by 2 or more cultures to the point that they can’t be defined by either one. They are some sort of conglomeration of the cultures.
Charlie has been missing Zambia a lot lately. And even though we are 7 months into this transitioning-back-to-America business, I pulled out the activities workbook of Looming Transitions by Amy Young to find a fresh platform for talking about this “new” life with Charlie (and Sam).
And I made some play dough. Then we got to work.
Yellow play dough is Charlie in Zambia. Let’s talk about Zambia. What did you love?
Sun, Castro our dog, working with Uncle Charles, my friends, riding my bike…
Blue play dough is Charlie in America. Let’s talk about our life here in America. What do you love?
Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, sleepovers, going on the boat, fishing, school, being able to look out the window at the cars that drive by…
You can mix the yellow and blue together now. What happens?
It makes green!
Mixing the yellow and the blue involves kneading and smashing and squashing. Each person has their own way of mixing the yellow and green together. Sometimes it happens slower for one person than for someone else.
Sam got right to work mixing them. Charlie was more mindful.
The process of becoming green doesn’t always feel good. That’s the sadness and loneliness you feel sometimes.
But it makes you into a very special person.
If you think of it, we appreciate continued prayer as we walk this transitioning road and help our kids navigate the emotions of it all. It ain’t easy bein’ green!
Appreciate this post. I often think of the children & wonder how they adjust. The culture tug must be so hard! Easier for adults but even I feel drawn back to Zambia (& I’m an old lady)! So, yes, praying for Charlie & Sam. Becky
Awww. I will pray specifically for Charlie who is old enough to have deep connections with his ‘first’ country, and for Sam. You are doing a good job of keeping communication open and knowing their hearts. I will pray for both of you as you parent as well. Mary