Every so often, when the full-time houseparents are on a much needed day off, I find myself in a boy’s residence hall serving as a relief housefather. Although this may sound challenging to some, it is a great opportunity for me to spend time with these young boys and get a greater insight as to what is going on in their lives on any particular day.
Since most of my relief shifts fall on a weekend when the campus cafeteria is closed, my limited cooking skills are brought to light, and I must rely on the culinary skills of my sweet wife, Sonya. One morning, however, I found myself trying to make breakfast for six hungry boys.
Now, most of these boys are easy to please and their appetites were appeased by cereal, or toast, or amazingly, a scrambled egg or two. But Bryce, a sweet 8-year-old boy with an impish grin, had his mind made up that he wanted Ramen noodles for breakfast. No matter what else that I offered him, he merely shook his head and said, “I want Ramen noodles, please.”
Finally, I asked him why anyone in their right mind would want Ramen noodles for their morning meal. He merely replied, “Because my grandma sent them to me, and I love her.”
The impact of what he just said hit me squarely between the eyes. Even though his grandmother was too frail to care for him, he could still feel her love for him, whether it came in the form of a phone visit or in a care package sent through the mail. As I choked back a tear, I simply said, “I can’t argue with that! Noodles for breakfast! Can I have some, too?”