“Love might not make the world go round, but it makes the ride worthwhile” says my Uncle John, who grew up as a Third Culture Kid in a military family. Smiling and waving through the tears, we said good-bye, again, last Tuesday for about the 6th time that day. We pulled out of the city where my parents live knowing it will be too long until we see them again.
My mother, too, grew up a TCK and has always talked about her parents loving her unconditionally. My grandparents weren’t perfect any more than the rest of us parents are, but the four children they raised all feel they were loved and accepted for who they are. That’s quite a gift to leave your children and when my mom and her three brothers get together from all across the US, I hear them talking about it. Well, that and the never-ending argument about what soup Grandmama made them every year on New Year’s Eve 🙂
I have a lot to learn about TCK’s and how to parent them. I’m two years on the job and feel I have a lot still to learn. There is an overwhelming amount of material on raising TCK’s. Overwhelming not because there are so many books on the subject, but because like every other classificaion we have for people–lumping people into categories can only be so helpful as each person is unique. But something I do believe every TCK has in common with every other child in the world is, if they feel loved,e then they have that much more of a chance to make it in life. As I observe the three TCK’s I am lucky enough to mother, there seems to be a few things that make my kids feel that I love them.
They seem to feel loved when:
I read books aloud to them
I smile & pat them when they pass by me in the hallway and say something nice to or about them
I hug them when they are not busy playing
I stop whatever my mind is engrossed with when they walk up to tell me something and MAKE EYE CONTACT
I could go on, but for my simple brain, I need a short list to start with if I actually want to see it happen. And I very much want my kids to feel loved by their mom. So here goes, kiddos, I hope you enjoy the ride. . .