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发布时间:2018-04-26 编辑:一米澳门银河赌城官网

澳门银河赌城官网美文201804:

  I was somewhere above the North Pole when my last column, about struggling to put expat privilege into perspective, went live. I was trekking back from Newark, N.J., to Beijing with my sons (my wife and daughter stayed another week) and it struck me midflight that I had missed an important point. While I was worrying about my kids being spoiled by fancy private schools, household help and five-star Asian vacations, they were sitting by my side longing for good ol' Essex County, N.J.

  They were mercifully distracted on the 13.5 hour overnight flight by a souped-up Continental 777 with electrical outlets -- unlimited Nintendo DS playing! -- and personal DVD players with 250 viewer options. That kept them from looking back too much, but my kids would gladly trade in our current, more glamorous life for aging public schools, cleaning up after themselves and vacations at the Jersey Shore. All the other benefits of being an expat are really for us, not for them.

  My kids miss home and with each visit back to the U.S. it is becoming more difficult for them to accept the fact that they live in China and we have no plans to move back soon. The first two years here it wasn't an issue -- we had nice, extended visits back to the U.S. and then returned, with no drama. But coming back last summer was tough on them and the most recent trip only served to reinforce their feelings. It is, I assume, our new paradigm.

  Last August, we left immediately after my nephew's bar mitzvah, with all the families still gathered in New Jersey, and they wanted to stay. Jacob cried hard the night before our departure. His cousins Sarah and Emma (18 months and two and a half years older than him, respectively) tried to comfort him with reassuring words and encouragement about his present life. The whole conversation was sweet.

  'It's so cool you live in China.'

  'Only when we go on vacation. The rest of the time it's just school and homework.'

  When this job opportunity came up for Rebecca in 2005, we both understood that the timing was perfect to make an international move and that it would only get more difficult as our kids got older and approached adolescence. Now nearing 10, Jacob is a veritable tween. His younger brother Eli follows his lead and in any case, as our most sensitive soul, has always been the most affected by our move, even though he wasn't yet five when we came to Beijing.

  Both boys have complained more about living here since that summer visit. They have become aware of what they're missing, that life elsewhere doesn't stop while we're on our little adventure. We have avoided talk about next summer, when we won't be able to go back because of the Olympics, but it came up repeatedly during this recent visit, and Jacob took the news hard. He was outraged initially, and complained bitterly, trying to change our minds. After realizing the futility, he just kept giving everyone big weepy hugs and saying, 'See you in a year.'

  At least he didn't write a story called 'The Day My Parents Ruined My Life: A Novel,' as 10-year-old Xiaolei McLean did five years ago when her parents told her they were moving back to China (where she was adopted) after two years in Portland, Ore.

  'It was written on elementary-school paper -- the kind with lines on the bottom and room for a picture on the top,' recalls Xiaolei's mom, Shelby McLean. 'There's always a point where kids experience moving as a loss and my [three] kids go through it every time they have to say goodbye to their cousins to return to China.'

  That sounded familiar; Jacob was literally pained every time he said goodbye to a beloved cousin, often developing a toothache whenever such a parting loomed. Whether the pain was psychosomatic, or whether anxiety was making him grind his teeth and hurt a recently-filled cavity (which his dentist suggested was possible), it was definitely caused by saying goodbye to people he loves.

  His mental state continued to affect his senses upon our return. We were staggering through the passport line in Beijing, when Jacob started complaining about extreme thirst. He walked to the water cooler, only to return spitting and gasping. 'The water in China tastes horrible!' he said. We bought a Diet Coke on our way out the door and he reacted the same way. It was obvious to me that he felt sick to be in China and everything he put in his mouth reinforced the feeling. On the way home, he claimed he had to throw up twice and got out of the car, where he spit on the ground. All the while, he was muttering to me about 'living on a different continent than everyone else.'

  Still, it didn't take long for the boys to settle back into their old routines. Their friend across the street got a new puppy, which has provided endless excitement for them, and a reminder just how young they still are, for me. As Mrs. McLean said to me, 'When kids are younger, the things they notice that are different between the two places are very superficial. If they have parents who love them and a place to sleep and eat and play they don't really care where they are.'

  Our kids are just nearing the end of this stage and I think they are in an interesting position: We have gone back frequently enough to allow them to maintain close relationships with their nine first cousins and several dear friends, and for them to maintain strongly American identities. And yet, of course, we live in China.

  The ultimate guide to raising children overseas is 'Third Culture Kids,' by David C. Pollock & Ruth E. Van Reken, which many readers have recommended to me. The title phrase refers to children who aren't fully of their parents' home culture or of the culture of their current home, but rather create a hybrid 'third culture,' in which they relate to one another more than they do to natives of either their current or original home.

  'The Third Culture Kid (TCK) builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any,' the late Mr. Pollock explained in a 2004 interview in the Relocation Today newsletter with Beverly Roman, BR Anchor Publishing. 'Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background.'

  What intrigues me is that our kids may be a bit betwixt and between -- not overseas long enough, or quite old enough, to fully become TCKs, and yet too removed from daily life back home to be fully American. I was, however, encouraged by Mr. Pollock's thoughts on how best to get a kid through difficult transitions.

  'The greatest help can be an understanding and patient parent who listens well and empathizes,' he said in the same interview. Some things are the same wherever you live.

  As I was finishing off this column, Jacob walked downstairs and said he was thirsty and asked if we still had 'that Diet Coke from the airport.' Happy to learn it was still in the refrigerator, he went over, poured himself a glass and took a long drink. I never thought it could feel so good to watch one of my kids drink soda.

  我的上一篇专栏文章写的是在华老外要正确对待家中“小皇帝”的问题。当文章发表的时候,我乘坐的从新泽西回北京的飞机正在北极上空飞行。我是和两个儿子一起回来的(我的妻子和女儿还要在美国呆上一周)。在飞机上,我突然想到自己在文章中忽略了非常重要的一点。就在我担心孩子们会被私人学校、家政服务和五星级的亚洲度假宠坏的时候,他们却正坐在我的旁边,怀念新泽西州艾塞克斯县美好的旧时光。

  还好,在大陆航空(Continental)的波音777客机上,提供个人DVD播放机和250部影片,还有电源插座,所以在长达十三个半小时的长途飞行中,他们可以不限时地玩任天堂掌机DS或是看电影打发时间。这样他们就不会有太多的时间回忆过去,不过孩子们还是会很高兴用现在诱人的生活,去交换过去那种上公立学校、自己做家务和在新泽西海滩上度假的生活。在华老外能享受的所有其他好处其实都只是对大人而言,对小孩子是没有意义的。

  孩子们想念故乡。每次回美国探亲,他们就越发难以接受现在身在中国、而且短期内我们也没有计划搬回美国的事实。在来到中国的最初两年还没有这样的问题:我们在美国度过美好的长假,然后返回中国,中间没有什么麻烦。但是,去年夏天从美国返回北京对他们来说非常难以接受,而这次的探亲使这种情绪更加强烈。我想这就是我们的新模式。

  去年8月,我外甥的成人礼结束后,我们全家就动身回中国了。当时所有的亲戚都还聚在新泽西,孩子们也想留下来。雅各布(Jacob)在我们出发的前夜大哭了一场。他的堂姐萨拉和埃玛(分别比他大18个月和两岁半)想安慰他,对他现在的生活说些安慰和鼓励的话。

  “你住在中国,这多酷呀。”

  “只有出去度假的时候才酷。其他时候,只是上学、做功课。”

  2005年我妻子白佩琪(Rebecca)获得来华工作的机会时,我们都认为,当时正是我们尝试海外生活的绝好时机;如果孩子们再大些乃至进入青春期的话,搬到国外生活会更困难。现在雅各布快10岁了,是个名副其实的“小伙子”了。他的弟弟埃利(Eli)也长大了。虽然我们刚来北京的时候,埃利还不到5岁,但他生性敏感,所以总是家里受搬家影响最大的一个。

  自从去年夏天回美国探亲之后,我的两个儿子对住在北京怨声越来越大。他们已经意识到自己正在错过些什么,也明白了我们在中国进行小小的“探险”时,其他地方的生活并没有停止脚步。我们一直都在回避谈论今年夏天,因为届时北京将举办奥运会,我们不能回美国度假了。但是在这次探亲期间,这个话题不断地冒出来,雅各布很难接受这个事实。开始的时候,他非常生气、强烈地抱怨,试图说服我们改变想法。在意识到不会成功之后,他只能一边眼泪汪汪地深深拥抱每位亲戚,一边说:“一年后再见了”。

  不过,至少他没有像小蕾?麦克林(Xiaolei McLean)那样为此写上篇小说。小蕾是被麦克林夫妇从中国领养的,五年前,在与父母一起在俄勒冈州波特兰市生活了两年后,父母告诉她,全家要搬回中国,10岁的小蕾于是写了篇故事,名字是《这一天我的父母毁了我的生活》(The Day My Parents Ruined My Life: A Novel)。

  小蕾的妈妈谢尔比(Shelby McLean)回忆说,“故事是写在作业本上的,就是那种画着一道道线、上边空白的地方可以画画的本子”。她说,“总有一些时候搬家对孩子们来说像是失去了什么。每次我的三个孩子在回中国前不得不和亲戚说再见的时候,都会有这样的感受。”

  这听起来有些类似;雅各布每次与喜欢的堂兄妹说再见时都会真的感到疼痛,一般会在即将分别时出现牙疼。不管这种疼痛属于精神作用,还是焦虑让他咬紧牙关、结果损害了刚补的龋齿(牙医认为有这种可能),这都是同与他喜爱的人分手所引起的。

  他的精神状况还影响着他对我们返程的看法。当我们在北京机场海关通道缓慢挪动时,雅各布就开始抱怨口渴得厉害。他走到饮水机那里,回来时却满腹不满。他说,中国的水真难喝。我们在外面买了一罐可乐,他还是同样的反应。显然,他不想回到中国,喝到嘴里的各种饮料都强化了这种感觉。在回家的路上,有两次他说感到恶心,然后下车呕吐了一阵。自始自终,他都向我嘟哝“为什么要跟别人生活在不同的地方。”

  不过没多久,孩子们就回到了原来的生活轨道。他们在这条街上的一个朋友那里弄来了一条小狗,这给他们带来了无数快乐,也让我感到他们毕竟还很小。就像麦克林对我说的那样,在孩子们还小时,他们注意到的两个地方的不同之处还是非常肤浅的。如果有父母爱他们,有吃饭、睡觉和玩耍的地方,他们是不会真正关心呆在哪里的。

  我们的孩子恰巧处于这个阶段的末期,我认为他们出于一个有趣的状态:我们回美国的次数非常频繁,这让他们能够同九个堂兄妹和几个好朋友保持密切的联系,从而打上了强烈的美国人的烙印。当然,我们还要住在中国。

  有关在海外抚养孩子方面有一本权威著作──大卫?波洛克(David C. Pollock)和鲁思?范雷肯(Ruth E. Van Reken)合写的《第三文化小孩》(Third Culture Kids, 简称TCK),有许多读者向我推荐过。书名指的是成长环境既不完全是父母祖国的文化、又不完全是目前所在国的文化下成长、而是混合的“第三文化”环境的孩子们。在这种文化下,他们与其他人的关系要比仅仅同目前所在国家的人或祖国的人打交道更为复杂。

  波洛克2004年曾就此问题接受过BR Anchor Publishing的比佛利?罗曼(Beverly Roman)的采访。这个采访发表在Relocation Today通讯中。波洛克在采访中表示,TCK同所有文化都建立了关系,但又没有完全融入任何一种文化。尽管TCK的生活体验融合了各种文化的要素,但归属感取决于与具有类似背景的其他人的关系。

  让我感兴趣的是,我们的孩子可能介于二者之间,在海外的时间不是很长,年龄也不是很大,因此还没成为真正的TCK,同时,他们的日常生活不在美国,因此也不完全是美国人。不过,波洛克有关如何采取最佳方式让孩子度过过渡期的看法令我很受鼓舞。

  他在接受采访时称,最大的帮助来自耐心且理解孩子的父母,他们要擅长倾听,能够设身处地。不论生活在哪里,不少事情都是有共性的。

  在我即将完成这篇专栏时,雅各布下楼说,他感到口渴,问我们是否还有从机场买的健怡可乐。听说可乐仍在冰箱里,他很高兴,拿出来倒了一杯,一口气灌了下去。我从未这么高兴地看自己的孩子喝饮料。

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