Skip to content

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

By Clare Ogle, an MHS houseparent

That’s the comment I heard from a dear friend after posting our student home’s Christmas photo. It’s the first year we have taken a photo with all of us in it. Plus, we added our son Titus this year, so it’s really the first year we photographed everyone together.

But my friend is right – one of the people in this photo is not like the others. She’s wearing a pink dress, but I’m not sure it means I don’t belong as the saying goes.

 Clare Ogle with students

Being a housemom to boys is challenging, crazy, chaotic, exhausting, sometimes stinky and completely wonderful. I am so thankful to be placed with high school boys. I love each of them dearly and uniquely because they all bring something different to the table. I try my best to create memories with them that I think boys should have with their mom: baking cookies, decorating at Christmas, talking about girls, gardening, cooking, shopping for homecoming and picking out tuxes for prom. There are so many things I get to experience with them.

And that’s what I love about boys. They tend to be doers. We might not exchange thousands of words a day, but we get to bond by doing. We get to experience life together, and I get to teach my two children these same things right along with their “big brothers.”

Yes, I am different than the boys and, yes, I am the only female in a house of 15 males. Yes, it can be crazy but I love it!

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.