It surprises me even now, even still, how children who grow up in a culture outside their parents’ passport cultures somehow, instinctively, just know one another. They flock together, bound by the shared experience of being slightly displaced.
These children – whom we now call Third Culture Kids – don’t exactly belong to their parents’ home culture, and they’re not entirely at home in their current one, either. They are a mixture of the two; a living, breathing third one altogether.
Sure, many of them were born in Ireland, including our youngest. But our children’s friends’ families come from all over, as they so happily informed me at not one, but two birthday parties we threw this month. Eight tiny nationalities were seated around our kitchen table, at one party or the other, pointing with excited fingers to the place on our giant map from whence they came: Russia, Syria, Pakistan, Poland and Chechnya (which took us a surprisingly long time to locate), to name just a few.
As these eight faces crammed around our kitchen table, noisily munching on pizza and cupcakes, half a world away, in my home state of Kansas USA, three men were arrested for plotting to blow up a Mosque and an apartment complex – the home – of Somali immigrants.
I sat at a table with eight immigrant children, including my own, and pondered a world in which they might not be not safe.
Not just a world, my world. My home.
Way back in October, I somehow managed to throw two birthday parties and write down all my feelings about TCKs, immigration and domestic terrorism. You can read all about it at VOX.