« Bugs and Togs and Other Essentials of a Christmas Down Under | Main | Road Trip: Driving North on the Hume Highway »

01/06/2014

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Suzanne

A struggle I am sure for the year 2014 for each of you but with loving parents and a strong family base your youngest (and other kids) will do well. There are always things about which we worry but who can add an hour to their day by doing that. No matter what our background, family structure, culture or beliefs there will be those that succeed and those that are screwed up-- and books written about both! It was an interesting topic for sure but you are a great Mom and he has a omnipotent God. Be assured that your relocation and upcoming move back will not ruin your children. :)

Christie

Thanks for the reminder Suzanne. I appreciate your words of hope. I don't really think that we have ruined our kids. It is just that there are so many things we didn't realize ahead of time before making the decision to move here. I suppose that's the case with just about any major life decision, however. James will recover and move on, even if there are some bumpy parts of the road along the way.

Suzanne

One thing I think you never thought of before moving-- loving it there! I may be wrong in assuming your feelings but I wouldn't be a Smith if I didn't say "I was right!" :) I knew it was going to to be an awesome experience from the first mention and feared you would not return home. Of course, experiences can alway seem better/easier to the one who does not have to endure the negatives.
So glad we got to follow along with you on your adventure through this blog.
It's not over yet! Several more months to go. :)

Christie

Yes, you are right again! I realize looking back that I planned to "endure" this Australia stretch rather than love it. That may explain why I didn't bring any items from our Pittsburgh house to make our house here a home. I planned for it to be an 18 month to 2 year stint of mainly sightseeing. How wrong I was on so many levels! And I too am glad that you have been able to travel along with us---very grateful for that.

Cristin

Very interesting. The Third Cutlure kid phenomenon is something I think a lot about. Though my little AusSerbMerican isn't old enough to have cultural issues, yet, I do wonder if she'll have language and information gaps when she's older, whether or not we decide to repatriate. Never though of something as seemingly simple as money!

Christie

It is an interesting topic to be sure, and I highly recommend the book referenced above. I have met lots of TCKs in Australia, and their reactions to their situations have been very mixed. Some positive comments but lots of negative ones as well about the plight of growing up somewhere else and then trying to fit in in a different country. I think the main thing is to be aware of the issue and support our kids accordingly. I'm sure your AusSerbMerican will do very well.

whitsendmom

My family moved to Peru when I was two years old. We lived there for the next five years, then moved to Brasil (spelled with an "s" NOT a "z") for two more years. I remember my mom crying one day because my younger sister didn't know the word for "cow" in English. For me the move back was hard, but I already knew "hard". My parents had enrolled me in a school in Brasil when I spoke no Portuguese. My "hard" will be different from your kids' "hard", but there will be moments (maybe even a year). We were missionaries and therefore quite poor. It took several years for my mom to realize how difficult it was for us to wear some of the outfits we wore to school. Also we moved back to the country or "hillbilly" land where travel abroad was not "interesting" to others. All in all, I think it made me stronger.
I did not struggle being an American. I didn't even know what it was! I had no idea how to vote in our class elections, or who or what a president was, or what in the world the word "sneaker" (a.k.a. tennis shoe) meant, but I made friends. In middle school, I had no desire to return to South America. I was quite happy near my hairspray and hot rollers. My parents took us one time, and we all got scarlet fever and spent a horrible week in smelly beds. After that visit, we stayed with grandpa and grandma when they traveled south. In high school, I began being interested in returning. My parents traveled back and forth many times a year. Remember. Traveling back for me meant no hot showers, dirt floors, poor people's food, and speaking in a language I used to know perfectly, but that had recessed somewhere deep in my brain. But I did decide to travel back to Lima again, and slowly relearn my Spanish. It was not until an interview for a college scholarship that I heard the statement, "Wow, you had a really fascinating life," ever said to me. I was a bit shocked, and then responded, "Yeah, I guess I have!" AND I AM SO GLAD MY PARENTS BRAVED THE WHOLE PROCESS AND TOOK US! And your kids will too.

whitsendmom

One last thing. It is hard to not be a "know it all" sometimes. A teacher would say something about "South America", and I would be like,[in thought] "Oh, yeah, you don't know anything about South America!" Teachers loved for me to share my experiences, but many of my peers thought it showy.

Christie

Thanks so much for all of those thoughts, stories, and for the encouraging words. I have read about the 'know-it-all' scenario from other MKs who have written down their stories. Apparently it is difficult to avoid. I love the bit about the hairspray and hot rollers---such essential items for the 1980s! But most of all I like your
concluding words-- "AND I AM SO GLAD MY PARENTS BRAVED THE WHOLE PROCESS AND TOOK US!" I'm glad they did too.

The comments to this entry are closed.