20 March, 2010

Homesick for Japan?

The first boy I saw this morning rolled into bed with me and moaned into my ear, "I want to go home...back to Japan."

Now he IS still recovering from gastro and has a sore stomach and a depressed head that hasn't had enough to do this week, but it is also true that he longs for 'home in Japan'. This week as we considered the 49 photos of the inside of the house being offered to us, he was peering over our shoulder. The house's architecture looks a lot like the house we've spent the last four years of his life in (like this photo of our previous house's lounge room). It looks like 'home' to him.

Our youngest was moaning yesterday, "I want to play with those toys we packed away in Japan."

Our eldest moaned, "I don't want to do this class talk." Yet he chose the topic Japan. When I asked him the main point he wanted to get across he said, "That Japanese need missionaries." (He's been listening to a lot of missionary talks along that line recently!) He had so much that he wanted to say on Japan, that the five minute limit seemed impossible.

Yes, our boys are not totally Australian. They are TCKs Third Culture Kids (see this post for a definition). Here is a blog post by a missionary family who are American, but have also brought their three boys up in Japan. It highlights how these kids live in both worlds, but are not totally comfortable in either.

It is a challenge for parents to help them stay emotionally balanced. The tendency is for them to consider the place where they are not living to be superior to where they are living. Contentment with the present is something we need to cultivate in order to keep our joy.

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