In Which We Find Our Eight Sons

Finding our boys

Some of our boys at the beginning of our ride.

“Hey, Mom!” he called from across campus.

I looked over to see who had called and noticed a fourth-grade boy waving at me. “Hey, Son!” I shouted back. “How’s your day going?”

He grinned, flashing his dimples, and shrugged. “Good.” He turned back to his buddies and I continued walking towards my classroom.

Eight sons. Pedro and I have eight ‘sons’ this school year. Our school (a Christian 1-12 boarding school for Native Americans) has a Faculty Family program. At the beginning of the school year the faculty choose 5-7 students to become their ‘family’ for the year—a way for us to connect with our students and help them out when they need encouragement, prayer, a trip to town or a homemade meal.

This year, Pedro did all of the choosing—and that’s ok. After living in a household of women for 26 years (we have two daughters and all of our pets have been females), he deserves to have some ‘sons’ to spend time with.

Our first official Faculty Family activity took place on Saturday afternoon—and we chose to take them mountain biking. I baked a cheesecake (at the request of one of our returning family members), fresh bread, made guacamole and put together everything we needed for a picnic supper after our ride.

During the ride to the trailhead, the four boys in my car chatted quietly with each other and listened to Casting Crowns and Toby Mac. After our ride and picnic, we piled back in the vehicles to head back. “It’s my turn to pick a CD, called one boy from the back seat.”

“Wait until mine finishes,” the boy in the front chided. “It wasn’t over yet.”

Excited conversation vied with Toby Mac lyrics pouring from the stereo, so I turned the volume down a little. They talked about the ride, how hard it had been and how many hills they had gone up without walking their bikes.

They giggled and laughed and passed gas and groaned. They even blamed the smell of a nearby pig farm on me—I denied it, of course, and made them roll down their window to prove that the smell got worse, not better; therefore, it couldn’t have been me.

I taught them the word ‘impunity’ and told them the next time we came this way, they could pass gas with impunity. Silly talk.

I overhead one boy talking with his mom on the phone and telling he loved her, and my heart melted. And my eyes filled with tears because I knew the boy sitting next to him had a mom who doesn’t want him and passes him off to relatives and acquaintances.

I hope our ‘sons’ find in me a ‘mom’ who loves them unconditionally, yet teaches them about healthy boundaries. I hope they find in me a mom who extravagantly bakes them cookies, ‘just because,’ yet models restraint because it’s a good lesson to learn. I hope they find in me the love of their heavenly Father—even when I’m in a grumpy mood.

I hope they find in me the love of their heavenly Father. #fmfparty Click To Tweet

It’s not a task I take lightly—but I’m privileged beyond measure.

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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