You probably haven’t met my parents. If you had, you’d be mystified that I’m the crazy one in the family.
A few weeks ago, I got a call from my dad. “I think we’re getting a kid,” he told me.
My parents are empty-nesters. I moved out over a decade ago, and my sister graduated from college this year. It’s probably logical for parents to miss their children or feel a little lonely during this time of life. It is a big transition.
But um…get a puppy. A parakeet. A goldfish. Not a random kid!
I briefly wondered whether he meant a baby goat. After all, baby goats are freaking adorable. My parents live near neighbors, though, so that might be illegal. And they wouldn’t have anywhere to put a goat house. Wait, house? Pen? Barn? Coop? What do you call the place where a goat lives?
Never mind. It doesn’t matter. They weren’t getting a goat.
He said they were getting a foreign exchange student from Spain, and he was moving in with them in about a week. They had just thought of it, and wasn’t it a great idea?
That is so like my parents. I can just picture it: they’re sitting on their cream-colored wraparound couch watching America’s Got Talent, and this happens:
Dad: I miss our girls. Remember when they used to put on talent shows for us?
Mom: Awww. Yeah, that was fun. Maybe we should have another baby.
Dad: Um, we’re over sixty.
Mom: Let’s adopt one!
Dad: Too expensive.
Mom: Let’s get one of those free ones that you just keep for a while. It’s an exchange something.
Dad: Like a rent-a-kid?
Dad: Is it free?
Mom: I think so. *quickly Googles a couple things* Look! A free kid!
Dad: Okay. Order on Prime so we don’t have to pay shipping.
In my head, that’s how it happened. In real life, maybe not. Anyway, they randomly decided to “get a kid” (*ahem* host a high school foreign exchange student), and my dad has been all pumped about finally having a boy and isn’t it great that now I have a brother?
My dad can’t even pronounce the poor kid’s name. His name is Jaime (HI-may), but my dad calls him Hiney. Yes, like butt. I told him he was saying it wrong, so now I think he may have graduated to Himey. It’s still not great.
When I met Jaime, I immediately said, “If my parents are crazy, sorry. It’s not my fault.” Except I said it in Spanish, because finally the years of high school and college Spanish have come in handy. He was very excited that I spoke Spanish, because he had some things he wanted me to translate. Question 1: who would be picking him up from school tomorrow? (The next day was his first day of school)
My parents looked at each other and shrugged. “Tell him we haven’t thought that far ahead,” my dad said.
WHO APPROVED MY PARENTS AS EXCHANGE STUDENT HOSTS?!
I gave Jaime my number and told him to call any time. I’m nervous my parents are going to send him to live with us. They go to Florida for six weeks every winter, and uh…home boy is gonna have to go to school. They claim they’re going to “figure out” somewhere for him to go while they’re gone, but they keep joking that he’s going to come live with us. After all, we always take care of their pets while they’re gone, right? To which I laugh nervously like, “Ha ha ha…NO.” He’s nice and all, but…his high school is twenty minutes away, and I don’t want to drive back and forth to practices and stuff. I don’t even own a minivan! I’m too young for this!
Speaking of practices, when they took Jaime to enroll for classes, he saw the soccer team practicing. He got all excited because he loves futbol, and he didn’t know that it was going to be soccer season in the fall. Unfortunately, he missed tryouts due to, you know, living in Spain. My dad asked the coach if Himey could try out. The coach reluctantly agreed to let him practice with the other guys to see if he was any good. Since Jaime didn’t know he was going to be trying out, he was in jeans and didn’t have cleats or anything.
Turns out HE’S REALLY GOOD. So they let him on the team. Yay Jaime!
That’s how I ended up at a high school soccer game this week. Because my dad called and was all, “You have to drive down for Himey’s soccer game. After all, he’s your brother.”
What I wanted to say was, “Dude. He’s not my brother; he’s your weird midlife crisis experiment who will probably end up living with me in December. In which case he’ll be my son. And my brother. And the whole thing is too bizarre, so you have got to stop watching so much TV. It gives you strange ideas.”
What I said instead was, “Okay, see you soon.” It seemed less complicated.
Stay tuned to find out if he moves in with us.
Anyone want a free kid?