Thursday, January 08, 2009

Third Culture Kid? Indigo Child?

More labels I like.

Inspired by MissChrisC's post about Third Culture Kids, I remembered one of my hopes for Angelina, that she would be one. What's a "TCK?" It's a child who spends a significant part of their childhood in a country (or multiple countries) other than that of their parents' birth. I knew many such kids when I worked in tropical diseases, traipsing around the developing world. Many of my colleagues' kids would fit the term, all the kids of the NGO-ites. They're a special group. These kids usually have a special insight. They usually adapt well and bond readily with new kids. They tend to gravitate towards the others who "don't belong."

To me, that always seemed wonderful, but that's because I think I'm a Third Culture Kid at heart. No, I didn't grow up globally. My parents never left the country until relatively recently. I lived in the same house until I was 17. But even as a kid I connected with those who didn't belong, and as an adult, I've bonded with folks from all over. Most of my friends tended to be 'from somewhere else' - either other expats or people who were just different. And I married one of them :). I've got a great life and fabulous friends here, but realize I feel more "at home" when I'm an expat. At the same time, I can feel at home wherever I go.

So why do I want this for Angelina? Because I think it's great to be adaptable. I think it's great to be exposed to and learn about so many cultures throughout childhood. I think she'll gain so much and be able to offer the world so much by having such experience.

I'm not sure she'll end up a Third Culture kid. For now, she's a bi-cultural kid, but I hope she gets some of the similar qualities. She's already growing up multi-lingual, so that's a start.

Indigo...I'll save that for another post.

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