I’ve just wrapped up a three day out-of-town conference. My new boss graciously offered that I take my wife and kids with me. I had fun hearing all about work-related things while my wife and the gatitos had fun swimming, touring, eating, etc. In the evenings we reconvened for a late dinner and family time. One of my kittens, the adoption-in-waiting Sylvester, already seems tired of Texas heat. When asked if he wanted to swim one evening his response was “Um… Maybe.” And that maybe sounded very much like how he says no.
Not sure what image of Texas in summer they gave him at the orphanage airport but it’s kind of what we do in Texas in July if we’re anywhere in sight of a concrete basin filled with chlorinated water.
The conference ended this morning and we decided to take our new addition to the family to a place that is sacred to all Texans. No, it’s not that Czech gas station in West that sells the little danish-type pastries (though that’s probably on the itinerary for the return).
We took our Sylvester to the Alamo!
When we got out of the car I began to explain to the boy that San Antonio was founded by Spaniards and was indeed once part of Spain. He seemed interested. Mildly.
As we headed down the street toward the Alamo itself my young man held his right forearm aloft in the late afternoon sun. He held it right next to mine. I tan very well and from late April until November I resemble George Hamilton. Sylvester looked back and forth between our two arms for a moment and proudly remarked with his trademark Madrilene smile:
“I am becoming black now!”
To which American Daddy promptly replied:
“No. No, you’re not,” as I quickly glanced around to make sure he hadn’t said this in earshot of any actual black people.
Then I had the joy of explaining the subtleties of color nuance to my exchange son.
“See, Sylvester, this is called tan, not black.”
“But, it is very similar to black man, no?” said he.
Before we hit the Alamo, perhaps we’d better visit the Civil Rights Museum first. Otherwise this adoption might be in jeopardy.
How strange that just three weeks ago I wasn’t sure I even wanted an exchange son. No we can’t imagine our world without him.