Despite our move’s hectic life schedule last month, I finished two short books about TCK (Third Culture Kid). I am TCK myself just didn’t realize it until I read it. I vividly remember the first day I went to the new school in Buenos Aires when I was 9 years old. I was placed with 3rd graders, with kids not familiar with Asian people, without understanding a word of Spanish, watching everybody as if I was an alien. I don’t remember how I slowly transitioned to adapt to the situation, but that first time, the shock was tremendous. I also remember that my parents didn’t really ask me how I was doing, not that I blamed them because they were busy and worried about making a living there.
One year later after that first day, I was sent back to Shanghai by myself (from Tokyo where my parents stayed for 2 years) alone at age 10. Again, entering to a new school, fortunately people similar to me and I could understand their language. Yet, I had to learned to adapt again.
I am still not sure if all the transitions, 12 schools in total, did any harm to me. I do know that I became more adaptable, resilient, and learned to control what I could control.
I love my parents and I know they did everything they could to take care of me. But for my children, I want to be there with them, for them more during the transitions.
Since we moved, I spend at least 1-2 hours at night with the girls, starting from the moment I step into our home. I ask about their days, listening to their stories while we have dinner. Instead of 2 min in the dark to end our day, we spend 30-40 min in bed talking. The topics could be as “big” as their new friendships, as small as planning our weekend. We all enjoy those moments, a great way to unwind, to bond, and to establish this communication channel for the girls.
Update on Lizzy: her stool test came back normal. I suspect it was food indigestion as she ate a lot during Sunday lunch. She also might have gotten a cold when she went to the playroom which is very cold. Yesterday she spent time at home and was fever free in the afternoon. I am giving her some syrup for the cough, and it improved a lot in one day. Today she went to school. I asked the teacher to observe her, if anything, we will just pick her up.