Tuesday, May 1, 2012
So it turns out that there's a name for what my kids will be when we take them out of their home culture (or, according to this book, what will be more accurately termed their "passport culture") and move them to the Dominican Republic: third culture kids (TCKs). They won't ever be truly Dominican, which we realized, but apparently neither will they ever feel truly American after a few years away during their formative years. They'll be a part of a growing group of kids raised abroad and called TCKs or global nomads. I like the first term better. Nomad sounds a little restless.
It was mind-blowing to be introduced to this book and this term, both so well-known to children and adults who've lived in other cultures, but completely foreign to me until a missionary told me to read it before we leave. And can I say, I'm so glad I read it before I completely botched the farewell time as I'm sure I would have. For example, I read how very important it is to allow room for the kids to grieve what they're losing in America and to comfort them in that and help them identify why they feel sad even while they may be also feeling happy and excited as they see and do new and exciting things. It seems that the kids who have the most trouble are those who don't process their grief with the transitions between worlds--a process made more difficult in a time of quick plane trips back and forth.
On an unrelated note, I seem to be having a systemic allergic reaction (very much like poison ivy "bubbles") to three flea bites I got over the weekend from a friend's dog. It is very time-consuming and itchy. I am avoiding the doctor's office since we're about to "run out" in our insurance and have to pay cash. And I mean, really, how much money does one want to spend on flea bites? Seriously. The mild rash has spread to other parts of my arm and even a little to my other arm. I called my doctor's office to see how long I could wait it out and the nurse of course felt I needed to be seen immediately. I told her I'd probably be calling back in a few days. Hmm, not what I need right now. :)