Five short months ago, our family got bigger, and my empty nest was refilled. Five quick, speedy, fleeting months ago, our “Little German Prince” came to live at our house. He moved in with his guitar, his iPad, his “Minions” shirts and his overwhelming appetite for pepperoni pizza.
For five months, our German boy has shared dinner with us. He has shared our late night hot tub soaks and our snow shovelllng chores. He has helped me to perfect my thin crust pizza and has encouraged me to make more lasagna in half a year than I made in the previous five.
When I really, truly needed it, he taught me to say “asshole” in German.
For five months, we have been his parents, and he has been our boy. We’ve celebrate our birthdays together. We’ve celebrated Easter, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. He has met our families, and we have come to know his.
Its been a wonderfully enriching experience for Paul and I, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
But tomorrow, after such a short time, our “little German Prince” will be heading back home. Back to Berlin, to his own real and true family. Tomorrow we will take him to the airport, kiss him goodbye, hug him close and hard and watch him walk onto the jet that will take him back to his “real” family.
We understand, Paul and I. He was never really “ours”. He was only here with us for a short while, for five unaccountably short months. We know that his parents were only letting us borrow him; he was never ours to keep.
But how do we explain it to our dogs? How do we get Tucker and Sadie to understand that Lucas needs to go back home? When morning comes, and Lucas doesn’t come down the hall to the kitchen, what will the doggies think? Will they worry, and wonder where he has gone?
When night falls, and it is time for bed, what will they think when Lucas doesn’t come to give them their Dentastix? How can I make them understand that Lucas has gone home? How can I reassure them that he didn’t leave them behind, that he didn’t mean to make them sad? How do I explain that everyone has a home and a family, and that Lucas needs to go back to his? How do I reassure them that in just a few short months, in just a few speedy, fleeting weeks. Lucas will come back to us, if only for a while?
What on earth do I tell the dogs?