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The Luckiest Big Sister of the Year

By Virginia Brooks

miguel

Great news!  My superhero just won me an award!

For the past three years I have been matched as a Big Sister to Miguel D., a 10-year-old boy who lives in Sherman, Texas.  Miguel and I came together through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization in Grayson County, near where I live.  I came into the program expecting a Little Sister, but once I met Miguel, the deal was done.

Officially, I’m supposed to be Miguel’s mentor.  We get together weekly to spend time together, talk over things and have some fun.  And fun we do have – lots of it!  For those of you who have forgotten what it’s like to hang out with a grade school kid, I’d highly recommend looking into BBBS in your area.  These past three years I’ve been to Summer Musicals (Mary Poppins is our favorite so far), gone swimming at the local splash park, played at almost every local community park in the area, gone bird-watching at the Hagerman Wildlife Preserve, hiked the trails of the Heard Museum, petted stingrays at the Fair Park Children’s Aquariam, watched Harry Potter, Epic, and a host of other G-rated movies, and a whole lot more things I would never do “at my age.”

And we’ve had our more serious moments, too.  We practice writing in our Monkey Business diary that chronicles our outings back to October 2010.  And we do a lot of reading together.  We talk a lot about values and integrity and the importance of doing what you say you’re going to do.

We’ve painted baseboards for Habitat for Humanity.  And helped set up classrooms at MasterKey, a local nonprofit that benefits Hispanic children and their parents.  We’ve made cat litter and toys for the local no-kill cat shelter.  And we’re always on the prowl for places where we can make a difference.

I thought I was going to teach Miguel a lot.  Maybe I have, but honestly he’s taught me much more about many things.  About the joy of living life and remembering to have fun.  About the richness of exploring other cultures and what matters to them.  About being satisfied with what you have and not always clamoring for more.  About how simple things can make everyone’s life better.

So it was with the greatest of humility that I accepted the 2013 “Big Sister of the Year” award from the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Grayson County.  I think the plaque should have read “Luckiest Big Sister of the Year!”