I haven’t had the will to write these past few days.
That’s because they took my boy away from me.
True he may not have been legally mine in any legal way. But from the moment he walked through the door from customs just three weeks earlier, Sylvester was ours.
Sadly, my will to keep him as my adopted son was not strong enough to evade the hand of time, tide, and that damn exchange program. Apparently the terms were something along the lines of “you take him for three weeks then he goes home”.
Now we are left childless except for the two children I fathered biologically and who live with us and are the light of our life.
Alas, poor Sylvester. I can only imagine the horrors in your Salamancan soul as you boarded that plane and headed for… New York?
Son, listen, I know you’re becoming a man and all that but I am your father and I don’t recall giving you permission to run off to the Big Apple like some common tourist. Now I see how it goes down. You and your “group” are going to “sight-see” and then what? They’ll coral you up and shove you on a plane and send you back to Spain.
OK, it sucks. We really enjoyed our time with him.
A few nights before his departure I took him along with a friend and his two sons and my real son to a Rangers baseball game. Gee that was fun. He said baseball is his favorite even though he never gets to see it in Spain. “Didn’t I tell you, Sylvester? Texas connects us.”
The night before he left we took our Sylvester to our favorite barbecue pit. Once again, our growing boy’s eyes popped out of his head. “So much food!!” he said, his English clearly improved from his first day in our home. The thing is that on the way to the restaurant he insisted he wanted to pay. Something about us having been too kind to him and him wanting to return the favor. I said something like “It’s OK, son, you’ll have plenty of time to take care of American Daddy when I retire” but he wouldn’t hear of it.
Texas barbecue isn’t cheap and I’ll leave it at that.
So the next morning came. He spent the night before packing. He even asked for a scale, convinced that his suitcase would be overweight. He’s lucky he wasn’t overweight after how we fed him. Only the best of Texas for my boy! I got up early and drove him to the airport on my way to work.
He looked up at me as we were saying our good-bye’s in the terminal. “Three weeks ago, was happy. Today is sad.” I gave him a card for his impending birthday. We had stuffed some cash into it to make up for his kind gesture the night before. “No no no,” he said. “I cannot take this.” I looked him in the eye and said “Son, I know there comes a time when every man thinks he can tell his father what to do. He’s grown up. He can take care of himself. I know you’ve got a deep seated need to prove yourself in the world.” His English wasn’t good enough yet to understand lines from after school specials. I finally said “Trust me, they only take American money in New York.”
Speaking of New York I was happily able to reassure him that he’d have no problem finding someone who spoke Spanish in Manhattan. Granted it might not be good Spanish but he’d understand.
And like that my little bundle of joy was gone from my life. They grow up so fast and abandon the nest. We’ll certainly miss him.
And as I was wondering today if he’d even remember us I got a text from my Spaniard. It read simply:
“I am home. New York was huge. I cannot find Dr. Pepper anywhere in Spain.”
Don’t worry, son. We’ll ship you some. American Daddy’s got your back.