There is just something about a dog and his boy. My dogs just love our boys. In fact, they love pretty much any boys.
Now that our sons are grown and gone, we can get the same squeals of delight from our dogs when our nephews, cousins, neighbors or any other boys come to the house.
There’s just something about a dog and his boys.
So I’m sure that my dogs will be very happy to hear that we have a boy, an honest-to-God boy, coming to live with us for the rest of the school year. He is a sixteen year old German exchange student. He was in need of a home, and this nest was in need of some life.
I’m sure that Tucker and Sadie will be almost as happy as I will be to have him here.
I hear that he likes to eat. And as you may know, I like to cook. Perfect.
Of course, I’m pretty nervous tonight. He arrives tomorrow. I have baked chocolate chip bars. There’s chicken brining for dinner. His room is clean, his bed is made, and I have mopped the floor.
I want him to be happy here. I want him to be comfortable. I want him to feel that he is welcome.
When I was his age, I was the student, far away from home, looking for acceptance and love in a new family. I was lucky. I found both. My Tunisian family took me in, fed me delicious meals, entertained me, laughed with me, took me to see the sights. I remember the meals, the conversations, the music. I remember the smell of the summery air, and the sound of the wooden carriage wheels on the cobbled streets outside my window.
I don’t remember noticing whether or not the house was clean.
Still, tonight I am cleaning and organizing and scrubbing. I have even brushed the dogs.
I know I’m being silly. He won’t care if there is dust. But another woman’s son will be coming here, to our house. Another woman, far away, will be trusting me to care for her boy. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know that I’ll be kind. She doesn’t know that the dogs will be here to greet him, with wagging tails and doggy smiles.
So as I wait for the bars to cool and the laundry to finish drying, I think back to my arrival in Kairouan, so long ago. I think about how easy it was for me to settle into my Tunisian home, with my wonderful family. I want that experience for our guest!
And I look at the dogs, snoozing on the nice clean floor at my feet. I reach down to pat their soft heads, listening to the comforting sound of their snores.
“Guys”, I say, although neither of them moves, “I have great news. Dad and I have decided to get you a boy.”