This afternoon I brought the young guy who was meant to spend the year with us back to the air port for deportation. His paperwork wasn’t in order, and he wasn’t allowed to stay. We’d been planning on his arrival since June, had been working on preparing his room  for weeks. I made seventy five meatballs on Sunday, along with a very decent batch of ratatouille, in anticipation of another mouth to feed. We bought a futon, moved around half the furniture, many of the books, a good chunk of the toys, instruments, games, art materials, dress up clothes, and other paraphernalia in the house, adjusted our expectations to include Eduardo in our lives for the year.

He was here less than four full days and now he’s gone. Makes me sad on lots and lots of levels. I feel tired and down. I also wonder what all that rearranging will lead to, what will happen to the space we created for him, in our house and in our hearts. We talked about that at dinner, just me and the kids, after three nights of Eduardo. It felt private, quiet, and also a bit expansive. When you lose something, or someone suddenly, the vacancy can catch you off guard. It feels a lot like grief, even though we barely knew the boy. Funny how a person becomes a movie you play in your mind, how their future becomes entwined with yours, how ripping that story apart, even when it was mostly imagined, feels bad.

The boy is flying all night long. His flight left at 6 something pm, is meant to land in Spain just after midnight our time, 6:30 am their time. Four hours after that, he’ll be back home, take a small rest, then come up with a new plan for this year of his life, as will we.