Lately I've been thinking about our life here in America. We've been back for exactly 6 months today. I wasn't paying attention to the date. I hadn't been counting down or up or back. I knew it had been about 6 months, but I wasn't really keeping track. Then tonight Anna Grace came into my bedroom. I could tell she had been crying. She told me that today was exactly 6 months since we arrived. And she burst into tears again. She wants to go back to Turkey. She and Will both want to go back. Erica and Jacob seem to be having an easier time of it, but even they've wanted to go back at times. I've watched these kids navigate the roadways of life in America these past 6 months. There have been some really hard days. We've had to deal with some reverse culture shock in a big way. I have almost blogged about some of those things in the past, but I didn't want people to think I was being judgmental, racist, prejudiced, or insensitive. I've decided to put a couple of those thing down tonight, because for some reason they are weighing heavily on my mind.
The first week of school for Erica was eye-opening for us all. Erica came home from school talking about a girl in her class who was pregnant. That didn't surprise or shock me. I fully expected there to be a pregnant girl or two in her school. After telling me about the pregnant girl Erica mentioned another girl in her class who has a 1 year old boy. I asked Erica what she did with her son while she was in school. She told me that he went to the daycare at the school. I was shocked. On one hand I was happy that this girl could continue her education without having to worry about who was taking care of her baby. On the other hand I wondered how many kids at her school had kids. Evidently enough that there was a need for an in-house daycare. It was hard to wrap my mind around that. It still is.
We've also had to deal with the way our kids talk about people of a different race. We came from Turkey. We called those around us Turks. They were Turks. There weren't Chinese Turks and French Turks and Georgian Turks. If you were Chinese you weren't Turkish. If you were Greek you weren't Turkish. Even the Kurds who lived in the East, who had been born and raised in Turkey weren't Turks. They were Kurds. It is what we were used to. At the international school our kids attended there were kids from all over the world. Iraqis, Italians, Greeks, Nigerians, Brazilians, Iranians, Egyptians, and so many others. Those nationalities were celebrated at their school. Here in the states our kids find themselves wanting to call people by the nationality of their ancestors. In Houston there are many people of Mexican descent, but they are not Mexicans. They are Americans. The kids know that...now.
I hope you hear the tone in which this was written. It's observing, thinking, and understanding. It is without fear. It's been 6 months already. I can't believe it.