The Adventures Of Fatherhood – November 25, 2022

The house has been full this week.

Beckett came home last Thursday for an extended Thanksgiving break from boarding school. A few weeks ago, he asked if his friend Diego, an exchange student from Guatemala, could come home with him for Thanksgiving. He needed a place to go, and we were excited to have him.

One day before they were to come home, Beckett called in the middle of the day – taking a break from class evidently – to ask if his friend Eduardo could join us because he didn’t have anywhere to go for the long break. Though we had some reservations about having all these kids here for the 12-day break from school, we couldn’t say no.

Some highlights of our interesting week include:

  • The ride from boarding school to home was fun. We had met Diego at parent weekend in October, but Eduardo we did not. Diego is fluent in English as he’s spent more time in the states, but Eduardo is more of a work in progress. I sense Eduardo understands English better than speaks it.

There were a few instances on the way home when our Guatemalan visitors were teaching Beckett some Spanish phrases. These sorts of quick lessons went on and on throughout the week. There was a common phrase the three of them repeated multiple times each day. I can only assume it was something inappropriate because they laughed and laughed whenever it was said.

When the Spanish lessons weren’t taking place, the boys were taking turns playing music. I quickly learned I’m a fan of Latin techno music, which helped pass the time of driving up Route 13 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia at night. At one point, I noticed all three boys had fallen asleep, and I was the only one listening to the tunes.

  • All three boys were happy to have some different foods to eat. The only complaint we have heard from boarding school has been the food. Beckett is a picky eater so most of the complaining we thought was due to his non-adventurous food spirit. Diego and Eduardo, however, echoed his food complaints. It’s cafeteria food so opportunities to eat elsewhere are appreciated.

When they head back to school next week, I think we will have done our part to ease their food issues. The amount of food consumed by these growing teens has been remarkable. I have a hearty appetite, but I have been amazed at their intake, especially Diego and Eduardo.

Pam cooked the boys a big breakfast Saturday. I walked into the house from hanging Christmas lights into the wonderful smell of breakfast food. I peeled back the aluminum foil on a platter to find dozens of pancakes and waffles, eggs, bacon and scrapple. It looked like enough food for 10. She knows me well enough to know scrapple is one of this Eastern Shore boy’s favorite foods, so she said, “go ahead, there’s plenty, I’m hoping this will last a few days.” I wondered whether the Guatemalan kids would like scrapple and question what it was. I hoped they didn’t like it selfishly.

Hours later I was standing in front of the refrigerator preparing to do some grazing. I had the scrapple leftovers on my mind. All I found from that huge amount of food was two pancakes and some bacon scraps in a Ziploc. I figured Pam hid it somewhere from me. When I inquired, she said the three teenagers had inhaled two pounds of scrapple in one seating along with almost all the pancakes, waffles and eggs.

On deadline morning, one of the boys came downstairs. I told him I had to run out the door, but to help himself to breakfast, as there were bagels and fruit in the kitchen. He seemed disappointed because the first two days Pam offered a tremendous breakfast spread, and I provided scrambled eggs the morning before. The honeymoon was over, and his disappointment was evident.

  • One morning early, I heard a television on upstairs. This is not uncommon when Beckett is home, as he likes to watch TV in bed at night – something he can’t do at school. It was 5:15 so I didn’t knock because I didn’t want to wake anyone up. I walked into the guest room to find Diego and Eduardo in their pajamas awake watching the Argentina-Saudi Arabia World Cup match that began at 5. It was surprising and awesome to see. I tried to explain I could have recorded it for them, so they didn’t have to wake up so early. It was one of the few instances since they have been with us when the translation didn’t seem to work. They couldn’t understand what I was saying so I just let them be.
  • A few days into their stay, Pam and I started picking up on a few things. Beckett had a lot of things on his to-do list while home, but topping them in importance were sleeping in, in his own bed and room and playing his video game console. After a few days of chilling, the Guatemalans wanted to get out and about much more than Beckett did, so we talked to him about striking a balance. The problem was the weather. A few minutes of walking around downtown Berlin or playing sports outside in temperatures in the 40s was all they could take as it’s obviously much warmer in Guatemala. The end result was a few movies, some time shopping at the outlets in West Ocean City and many meals out and about.
  • Did I mention the food? The intake of these growing, food-driven boys was impressive.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.