Monday, November 17, 2014

10 things you might experience as a TCK

Stephen teaching
the nurses to use the PPE
Growing up as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) brings some interesting opportunities your way.  Here are some things you might experience.

1. Your cat wakes you up at 4:30AM to admire the bat he killed.  "Good kitty!  Now can I go back to sleep?"  The same cat may have been known to bring a "not dead yet" rat to play with under your bed.  But all is forgiven when you remember that one time that he cornered the potentially poisonous snake that had entered your bedroom.

2. Not only do you know more about Ebola than the average person in the US; you know more about Ebola than the average medical professional in the US.

3. When people come to the door looking for your father, you can tell them, "He is not here; go to the hospital"  in three languages.... even if you prefer to say, "Mommy, somebody's at the door looking for Daddy!"

Baby Honey Badger
4. School is often interrupted by interesting animals.  Who else gets a honey badger offered at their front door?  Unfortunately, your mom turns them away every time.

5. You don't get school delays due to bad weather or power outages.  But you do get delays for things like your mother biking to the ATM to get cash to buy diesel fuel so that your father can do surgery.  (What would we call that type of delay?)

Along the same lines as delays- you don't get snow days.  But you do get surprise days off for things like "We almost evacuated, but then we didn't and we really need a day off."  Since that's too long, we'll just call them "mental health appreciation days!"

6. Your playground equipment is trees, and you have have more fun on that than any playground because you use your imagination.

Another plane ride
7. You have been flying since before you can remember, and you never worry about crashing.  Your biggest concern is who gets the window seat.  You may have been known to think it was funny to yell "We're going to crash!!" as loud as you can while the plane lands.  Good thing it was on a flight with few English speakers!

8. You've heard "Don't you know there's starving kids in Africa?" when you don't want to eat your vegetables.  You know that eating those green beans or not eating them isn't going to help the kids one way or another.  While you are willing to help with the preparation and delivery of malnutrition supplements, those green beans are staying on your plate!  After all, whatever you don't eat won't go to waste.  It will be eaten by an employee or patient in the hospital.  You're off the hook.  ;)

Caleb in Thailand
9. While most kids are discouraged from playing with matches, your parents are just glad that you can light the candles when the power goes out- again.

10. You have a desire to visit all the continents of the world, and you have a good start by the time you are seven years old - four checked off- North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.  Caleb really wants to go to Australia next, and I told him I would love to go with him.  For Antarctica, he's going to be on his own!

* Bonus: You have a "swat to kill" order on all cockroaches in the house.  You can earn 30 minutes of game time on the computer or other devices.  The opportunities abound!

We spend lots of time
looking at this map!
More reading:
Twenty Four Reasons I Love the Fact that My Kids are TCK's
Funny Things Third Culture Kids Say
Raising Resilient MKs
Living Between Worlds- A Post on TCKs

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