16 July 2010

A very special guest

We are awaiting the arrival of a very special guest. Some time ago he announced he would like to stay with us for an extended period of time, and we enthusiastically agreed.

We've had months to prepare for his arrival, but at the same time, we don't know exactly when he will get here. He wouldn't say; he would only give us an estimate. Normally this would be unacceptable behavior - after all, we need to know when we should take time off work. We need to know if we can schedule a holiday weekend. We have busy lives, of course. They don't just stop for someone's visit. He doesn't seem to be bothered by this, so we've resigned ourselves to clearing our summer and fall schedule in order to accommodate him.

He will arrive without boxes, a suitcase or even a duffel bag. This is how he chooses to travel and being good hosts, we must provide for what he has not brought along. Yet it's important to admit that we have our own ideas about what we think he needs and he will not necessary share these ideas. In fact, he will not expect the amount of effort we have put into making him comfortable. Once he is here he will fail to appreciate the time we've put into decorating his room. He couldn't be bothered about the crisp, new sheets washed in organic detergent. He won't have a clue as to why a number of shelves on the bookcase have been cleared to cater to his rumored tastes, or the hours of research that have gone into choosing comfortable pieces of furniture where he can sit or recline. We've even gone so far as to buy clothing in a variety of sizes that is likely to fit him. Outer layers will be necessary to keep him warm in the unpredictable Dutch weather, but he could care less about the color or style.

We have prepared more for this cohabitant than any other, but some things remain relatively simple. Food, for example. We've been told that he only needs one type of nourishment, and it requires hardly any effort to produce or prepare. However it will be a demanding source of sustenance as he is rumored to insist on receiving it eight times a day. And even in the middle of the night! One might silently wonder how such frequent eating affects his digestive habits. Suffice to say some special equipment has also been purchased to accommodate him in this area. Not a pleasant topic, of course, but others have told us that we may become more comfortable discussing it as time goes on.

As mentioned, others familiar with his pattern of travel have given us an estimate as to when he'll arrive, and we're busy counting down to that day. Today, only five weeks remain. As he is rumored to arrive earlier, though, each passing day finds us pondering how life will never be the same. We are prepared yet we have no clue. His true effect on our lives and our hearts will only be realized once he is here to stay.

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