So you met Zack and Joey! Aren’t they cool?
Well, I think it’s time I touched a bit more about our MK kids, and why I haven’t talked much about them before.
Sure, they’ve been mentioned. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that I think they’re awesome and sometimes we do fun things together, but you haven’t heard much about them, really.
I really, really love them.
And when I love you, one of the first gifts I’m going to give you is privacy. I know what it’s like to have your face plastered on people’s refrigerators and church bulletin boards and trying to come up with things to write about your life in the monthly newsletter. I don’t want to broadcast these kids’ lives without being sensitive about it.
That being said, it never really occurred to me that being blogged about might be something they actually think is COOL!
Sometimes I wonder how much of an idiot I really am. I totally could have just asked earlier, but then again I didn’t feel like it was the time.
After asking Z & J for permission to post about them, I made a passing comment about being frustrated pictures wouldn’t upload, postponing the post. A few of the other boys were with them, and suddenly I heard remarks like
“You have a BLOG?!”
“What do you write about?”
“Wait, Zack and Joey are in it? Where was I?”
These kids never cease to surprise me. They delight me every.single.time.we hang out. Really! And this coming from the girl who thought she didn’t LIKE teenagers!
Anyways, yesterday I realized just how protective I am of these kids.
(At least, secretly. On the inside. I don’t know how protective I am of anything on the outside.)
We were meeting with someone about maybe helping out with the group when we left. They were asking a few questions about the kids and how we ran things when the comment was made:
“So, are they all missionary kids? Most of them are homeschooled, is that right? I helped out with a youth group at home; I think it might be similar. It was a smaller group, kind of dorky and fatherless. But I guess that’s not quite the case here, having fathers and all… [blah blah, enter verbal processing]”
Now, it was an innocent comment.
I knew this person loved the kids back home too, and was honestly just trying to get to know about our kids here. I wasn’t exactly offended but I am one with a strong sense of justice – which means I want the truth to be presented, and accurately. I like things to be clear.
So let me say it clearly, lest you have the wrong idea:
OUR KIDS ARE NOT DORKY!
They are smart, kind-hearted, and fun – hilarious even!
They think outside the box. They’re independent but can work together.
They can talk to people regardless of age and are more mature than many of my peers,
and they are more familiar with western pop stars and Dr. Who episodes than I even have a hope of being.
Also, I do realize that our youth group is not perfect, as much as I brag about them. They’re flawed too, just like all of us! They’re listening skills leave room to be improved, that’s for sure, and they have this legalistic thing about knowing EVERY SINGLE EXACT rule of every game we play and what the verdict will be on each and every loophole and scenario imaginable. I choose to view this as amusing rather than exasperating. Besides, I don’t really blame anyone for that because I like things to be clear too. Knowing the rules makes me feel safe.
You may not know anything about TCK’s (Third Culture Kids), but let’s just say they have an incredibly unique life, filled with exceptional challenges and diverse experiences on top of just trying to be a kid.
Spending time with them has been an honour.
I’ve heard about fears and favourites,
adventures, good-byes, and memories.
They tell me about how they got here and where they’ve seen God at work.
We’ve played dodgeball and thrown toilet paper rolls and played cards
and drank coke and hot chocolate
– not at the same time, that’s gross –
and talked about families and futures and the traffic on Peace Ave.
They say please and thank you and “is that a Canadian thing?”, joining Adele as we mock each other.
They teach me Parkour
and Dr. Who and Percy Jackson and all the actors in between,
even though I don’t remember any of it.
And at the end of the day, I just have to say:
These kids have my utmost respect.