Monday, June 17, 2013
Things Could Be Worse
We dropped Adam off at the airport this morning. He is no longer our exchange student, but, as he would point out, that does not mean that he is dead.
And no, we did not stop off at the Dane County Shelter on the way home from the airport and pick up kittens. I'm trying to train myself out of that knee-jerk rebound exchange-student-leaves-get-a-kitten behavior to which I am prone.
Still, I can't help thinking that a couple of kittens and a ball of yarn would jolly things up around here. Maybe my allergies wouldn't be so bad if we had kittens. Maybe this flare up of sciatica would cool off. If we had kittens.
Seventeen-year-olds aren't meant to stay forever, are they? They're meant to graduate and go off to college or the Czech Republic. You can't keep them forever.
They're not kittens.
But this is what you hope for, when you bring an exchange student into your home. You hope that seeing them off will be a sad occasion. The better the year, the worse the parting. Like what Josh said about teachers.
Josh has been cursed with having had wonderful teachers ever since preschool. If anything, they just get better every year. It has gotten to the point where he dreads summer vacation.
In March, I reminded him that his vacation was only two weeks off. We were going to Disney Land for spring break.
Josh looked like he was going to burst into tears.
It wasn't until we sorted out the calendar and he realized that he would have ten more weeks of school after spring break that he began to cheer up.
This grim situation with the excellent teachers ineluctably led Josh to the dreaded last day of school, when Josh threw up his hands, Job like, sobbing,
"Why, oh WHY can't I have bad teachers?!?!"
It's hard for a mom to wish that on her child, bad teachers. But maybe next year's teacher could be just a little tiny bit worse. (Not very much worse--it's hard enough to get Josh to school consistently five to ten minutes late every morning.)
Our family will, in the next couple of years, get another exchange student. I wouldn't mind if the next one were a little bit worse.
It would be okay if I had, as everyone expects I ought to have, (but I don't), mixed feelings about our next exchange student's departure.
I could be like, Yeah, I'll miss him or her, but at least now that funky odor has left the house.
Or, Yeah, I'll miss him or her, but at least now that area on the floor around the toilet is dry.
Or, Yeah, I'll miss him or her, but at least now the pets' wounds will have time to heal.
One or two palliative feelings of relief and good-riddance would be welcome.
Text message JUST NOW from Prague:
HI. I AM WITH MY FAMILY IN PRAGUE. THIS IS MY FATHERS PHONE.
Mission accomplished. Exchange student returned to parents alive.
Let's hope the next one is a little bit worse.