I have had more than one person say "I would never do that" or "That seems like a lot of work" when I have talked about having these two students come to stay with us or when we hosted the student for a week with the Up With People program.
Tonight, Big E and I picked up the two high school boys. They are both very cute, outgoing and friendly boys. I think they were relieved to discover that, even though they are from two very different cities and schools and two different grades, they have a lot in common - they both wrestle and are distance runners for their schools in addition to their involvement with their school government/student council. Anyway, while Big E and I were waiting to meet them, several other families were also waiting. Big E was getting so excited and started asking about why they were at our high school, what activity brought them there, do they do this in other states, does this happen every year, etc. Then he said: "I want to do this when I am old enough." Sous Chef made a similar statement last year when I took him to the Up With People show at the end of our hosting week.
This is why we do it - why we open our home to strangers and take care of another parents' child. These are the types of role models I want my children to meet and have in our home, even if for a very short time. Young men and women who are leaders in their schools and communities, who are going "out into the world" to have experiences outside of their home, city and schools. And I want my children to know it's ok and to have the confidence to leave home - for a short time, for college or to live in a place where they will experience a new way of life, meet new people and learn new things. I will miss them when/if that time comes, but I would hate for them to miss out on the wonderful opportunities these experiences bring!