I was in choirs as a kid and I can recall my own mom hosting kids from a traveling high school marching band so when one of my colleagues was asking around if anyone could be a host family it seemed like something we should do. Fortunately, J was amenable to the idea, if a little baffled by the whole concept. We really only have them here for a few waking hours both days, so it's not like it's all that taxing, but I'm still glad that I can usually count on him to be a good egg about such things, which is one of the many reasons I love him.
It feels a little strange to be on this side of the kids-who-aren't-related-to-me-staying-at-our-house equation. I've had other people's children here before, of course, but always with their parents here, too. So I am, for a couple nights, "The Mom." Why this should feel different from any other night I'm not really sure, since I'm "The Mom" every night. But still.
It also seems a little amazing that someone else who has never met me, and can only really trust me by proxy of proxy of proxy, has entrusted me with their pre-teenage children. It speaks of people with a deep faith in the goodness of others, and enough trust in their own parenting skills that they're willing to send their children off into the world for two weeks without them.
This is even more profound given that the boys are not to use computers or phones during the entire tour. No email, no texting no phone calls home. The only way they are supposed to communicate with their parents is via actual letters. I'm not sure why they have this rule, or even if it's a good one, but it makes the whole thing just a little bit more amazing in this age of instant all-the-time connectivity.
So for now, I am The Mom for these two boys and will get to practice having near-teenagers to get out of bed for a couple mornings.
I hope someday someone will do this for my kids, too.