Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
TITLE: Third Culture Kid
By Lauren Dahl
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Getting off the plane I see them: Grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins. They’re all smiling and waving. “We’re so glad to see you!” And I’m glad too.
Six months later we’re leaving, saying good-bye to them. I don’t want to cry anymore. I wish I could give them the tears they deserve, but if I do I’m afraid I’ll fall apart. So I smile and tell them how much I’ll miss them. I feel guilty slipping back into their lives like this knowing full well I’d be slipping out again so soon.
Getting off the plane at the other end there is no one to meet us and some of our luggage is missing. I wonder if I let them go too easily, if perhaps I should have let them in deeper so that good-bye left more than scratches on my heart, something to remember them by.
Of course there are people over here too. Most of them are gone right now, but when they come back I’ll fade into their lives and they’ll fade into mine like nothing happened. Maybe I’ll even make new friends, though I’ll be sure to keep the knots loose so that I won’t run the risk of strangling myself when I leave.
Fade in, fade out. We’re like wanderers restlessly traveling the globe. Oh, I don’t mean to say it’s not for a good reason or that I don’t enjoy the full life I lead. It’s just that the ships must sometimes envy the trees their roots, even as trees envy the ships’ freedom. But ship or tree, mast or branch, we are all straining upward toward the same goal. And we know that there is a place where we’ll never have to fade in or out again.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
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