Giving Grief A Chance

I recently finished reading the book, “Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds” by David C. Pollack and Ruth E. Van Reken. Our three boys are officially Third Culture Kids, TCKs. “TCKs are raised in a neither/nor world. It is neither fully the world of their parents’ culture nor fully the world of the other culture in which they were raised. TCKs develop their own life patterns different from those who are basically born and bred in one place. Most TCKs learn to live comfortably in this world, whether they stop to define it or not.”

Malachi and Elijah are attending an Argentine school while living here, they are rapidly learning Spanish and teaching us new things all the time about cultural aspects of the Argentines. It is wonderful and exciting but, sometimes draining and discouraging. I don’t understand or know everything that they learn in school, I don’t fully understand the philosophy of education or how they are being taught the things they are learning in school (remember I was a teacher before having kids). The beginning of the school journey has taught me, that I, as a parent to third culture kids, have to grieve when their experiences in life aren’t similar to mine. Yes, they are growing up with an incredibly rich experience of learning and speaking and thinking in another language and making friends in another language, and up close seeing the needs of families who live in the villa(Shanty-towns), but I still grieve that they don’t get to see their grandparents, and aunts, and uncles and cousins all the time, and that they don’t get to go in the woods and explore(we live in the city), or go to VBS or take fun road trips to see friends or family, the list could go on and on. And it will go on and on, those little things catch me off guard and it is then that I need to grieve for those little losses. As I finished reading this book, I knew God was teaching me how I personally needed to grieve leaving all the familiar places, people, and routines of my life in the states, and how I can better guide and help my kids to grieve as they will have many more transitions in their lives. This is an exciting and sometimes uncertain journey and I’m thankful God is with us every step of the way, and so very thankful to have your prayers with us too.

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2 responses to “Giving Grief A Chance”

  1. Wow… I’ve thought quite a bit about this post over the past day and a half. As a TCK, I am incredibly thankful for all I’ve been able to live, and I am excited that your kids get to experience some of the same things. But you’re right, living in this limbo between cultures (an incredibly rich experience that I would not trade for ANYTHING) does have it’s challenges and difficult moments of grief. There’s so much that’s coming to mind that I could write here, but I don’t want to make this too long. I would love to talk with you guys about my experiences growing up in Buenos Aires sometime (either face to face or through the web) if that would be helpful. I’ll be praying for your families, that you might enjoy the awesome moments when they come, and that you might also deal with grief that will come as well. Rest assured that it’s been done before, and that we’re here to help in any way that we can!

    Jon

  2. Great pics! Praise the Lord for answering our prayers!

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