Third Culture. That's what our kids are. Third Culture Kids. It means they don't belong to their first culture, 'Merica. They have lived more life outside of the US than inside.
They ask questions when we are back for a visit like, "Mom and Dad, what are all these buildings with points on them?" We look at each other "STEEPLES?" They just learned what disposals are and say English words with Spanish accents...it quite cute until my blonde kid tells the latin Exxon gas clerk, "Ahlow" instead of "Hello!"...."Lo siento vivimos en Panama, somos missionarios. Ellos hablan espanol." Annnnd then there is the awkward "ahhh ok."
Ok. So they don't fit in the States. They live in Panama. They are not Panamanians. For sooooo many obvious reasons. And they don't belong to their second culture, Panama.
So they are "MKs." You have all heard that before, Missionary Kids. The culturally correct terminology is Third Culture Kids. There are books written about it. But man is it hard to know your kids don't actually fit into anything but a term. I read a blog today from a missionary mom from Columbia and kinda snot cried and she NAILED it.
Its not just the kids who feel out of place...actually pretty soon they don't even know they are but I am a Third Culture Mom and this is how I feel on a hard day...not every day...but some.
The reality (one I am grateful for and a fan of) is, that this is totally God's will for our children to be here, not there. She is right...it is a constant death of idols. So many things I miss, but this is where the the Lord wants us, all 7 of us, right now. Here in Panama.