Story last updated at 7/1/2009 - 11:55 am
The power of play and seeing the world through the eyes of a child again are just a few of the gifts that we have gained from participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
My husband Jeff and I have the unique opportunity and privilege to share a couple's match with Marco, our little brother.
Children complete your life. They allow you to relive your childhood through their eyes and experiences. Being a big sister has allowed me another chance at continuing to nurture my inner child. At the same time I have a chance to share a part of my life with a child.
A few years ago our daughter grew up and moved out of the house. It left a huge hole in our lives. There was an emptiness that had been filled with children's laugher. We no longer had young people to share all of our fun times with. Our nieces and nephews were also getting older and more involved in school and sports, and their own lives. So we looked into the Big Brothers Big Sisters. We found out that we could do a match together as a "couple's match." I hadn't heard of a couple's match before, but signed up for the program. The couple's match was perfect. At the same time a match was found, Jeff and I bought a business at the height of its busiest season.
With a couple's match there was an opportunity for all three of us to have time together, but it also gave me and Jeff a chance for one on one time with Marco. Just recently, Marco came over and built a catapult with Jeff, for a school project, while I was at work. The week before that, Marco and I went to the movies to see "Night at the Museum."
We also have time where the three of us get together for fishing trips, marathon games of Risk, building a camp fire and roasting hot dogs, baking, playing games, experimental science projects, cooking, and more.
We are able to play again. The name Big Brother, or Big Sister, or Little Brother isn't just a name to us. When we were matched with Marco we gained a new family member, a little brother. We have had a great time playing together. It is been great to watch Marco grow and mature. Last year when our daughter was married Marco came with us to the wedding.
We thought that perhaps we could "give back" when in fact we receive much more than we give. I would recommend any couple who enjoy each other's company, who would like to share their lives with someone look into a couple's match with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Nurture your inner child while you nurture a friendship with a child.
To learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters visit bigbrothersbigsistersalaska.org or phone 586-3350 in Juneau, 247-3350 in Ketchikan, 747-3350 in Sitka, 766-2151 in Haines or Skagway and 945-3600 in Hoonah.