Saturday, November 04, 2006

A "Little" is coming

Remember way back in September when I mentioned that I was applying to be a Big Brother with the Big Brother/Big Sister program? Well, after a very long and extensive application process, I just got notified that I was approved to be a Big Brother. I'm really happy about that.

The application process was VERY thorough, as well it should be. For example, during a home interview, the social worker asked to look through all my cabinets, drawers and closets. (For firearms, weapons, drugs, I suppose). She also asked me to open my internet browser so she could have a look at my internet history. That was a suprise, but understandable. However, it also felt kinda oogey to have a stranger see that I'd just ordered a re-supply of Colonix (hey, that stuff is amazing!) and that I'd Googled a college friend named Deborah Weinberg from Buffalo.

Anyway, I was approved and I'll be matched up with a "Little" next week. I didn't specify any restrictions with whom I'd like to be matched (race, disability, all that stuff). I know it will be a little guy between the ages of 7 and 14 years old. There is also a big demand for Big Brothers -- there are over 500 "Littles" waiting to be matched. I'm also glad that BBBS puts all the applicants through such a thorough and extensive application process.

So, what kind of a "Little" would I like to be matched up with? Sure, there's the idealist vision of a kid who will instantly blossom with every sentence I utter. But I'm old, very wise and know that'll not be the case.

I remember first hearing about Big Brothers when I was fourteen. The guy that often baby-sat for me when I was little (Byron) went off on a football scholarship to University of Houston and then played for the Houston Oilers in the early 70's. We went to see him play in the Astrodome in Houston when I was fourteen, accompanied by his "Little" who was a clean-cut, shy white kid about twelve years old. His "Big" was a clean-cut, white, pro football player.

Just like in the commercials.

I do NOT envision that scenario. . . .

Perhaps my "Little" will be just like "Timmyyy!" on Southpark. That's just fine. I'm sure there's an awful lot of "Timmyyyy!" in each of us that could have used some compassion and healing.

(The Iwanski's have seen me work with my clients. They can attest to my ability to compass and heal my ass off).

But what if my "Little" wants to go to a football game? Iwanski proposed that scenario last night,

Well, I would buy the best seats I could afford, because that would make him really happy. I'd really try to engage him by having him explain what the hell a "first down" is, and later feign excitment when it occurs. The Little might enjoy that.

Then a couple of weeks later, I'd gently advocate a much less violent activity, such as a visit to the Chicago Modern Art Museum. He might throw up, but I'm "good" with that too.

But, I have to admit. Here's what I'd really like to do for my "Little" right away. . . .

1. Take him to Macy's for lot's of little bitty sweater-vests. (But not to wear at school. I know. He'll only get beat up).

2. Teach him not to use 'like' and 'know'm say'n' as discourse markers.

3. Teach him what discourse markers are.

4. If he likes roller coasters, buy 2007 Season Passes to Six Flags. No questions asked.

5. Have him take Portia, (The Most Wonderful Dog in the World) to Doggy Beach on a regular basis. I cannot praise Canine Therapy enough.

6. Give him a wad of cash, have him negotioate a menu in a nice restaurant, figure the tip and pay the bill for table. That's one of the best lessons my mom and grandmother taught me and my brother when we were pre-teens. It needs to be passed on.

7. Show him everything that's good in Chicago.

8. Teach him how to ice skate backwards at Millenium Park.

Gosh, I wish him the very best. I really do . . . .


At 1:51 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

This should provide tons of blog fodder, eh? Looking forward to it.


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