There is something that hides away inside me, a fear that only arrived after the birth of our child. The fear of loss.
The realization that life is very precious and way too short was one of the unexpected hangovers of my childbirth experience.
Before we had Little Bear, living as an expat was exciting and held little concern for settling down. Of course, I missed my family, but it never dawned on me just how many short precious years you have with the people you love.
That every year you are away from them and do not get to share your life with them is a loss.
That the people we love do not live forever.
We are still not entirely sure what our plans are, we enjoy being expats but I know that I do not want our children to grow up without any close family in their lives. I want Little Bear to have those special moments only a grandparent can give, knowledge and acceptance from a close uncle or aunt and many precious memories of fun with the cousins.
It does not seem fair to bring him up as a Third Culture Kid (TCK) here in England. England is the middle ground for us right now.
This is not to say that I want to be living on any family’s doorstep, but to at least be within a reasonable distance (time and cost wise) of each other. Only seeing each other once a year – if that – just does not cut it when you have a little one who is building a daily bank of memories of his world!
At times I feel guilty for falling in love and having a child with someone from the exact opposite end of the earth to where I am from. Burträsk in northern Sweden and Cape Town in South Africa are literally poles apart!
Talk about complicating your life!
Should I feel guilty for having a child in a foreign country? Will it lead to him being more open minded and accepting of others, with a diverse range of friends and and and adventurous spirit? Or could it go the other way and give him a craving for stability? I guess we will just have to wait and see!
What is the impact, on a child, of living in a nuclear family opposed to an extended one?