I’ve been a “Big Sister” to two different girls, who are now young ladies.
I was matched with Courtney for a year and a half. We were matched when she was a 4th grader. My only request of BBBS was for it to be someone who didn’t attend the school where I teach. I wanted to be “Jodi” or “Miss Jodi” rather than “Ms. Pflaumer.” My match with Courtney didn’t last too long because her mother moved their family to Versailles during her 5th grade year. I told Angie, from Big Brothers Big Sisters, that I wanted to wait nine months before getting matched with a new “Little” in case they moved back.
Nine months later, Angie called and let me know there was a 1st grader whose sister had just been matched, so she was looking for a match for Lacie. Since it had been 9 months, I went ahead and started the process of being matched with my second “Little”.
On June 21, 2010, I met Lacie for the first time. I took her to our local ice cream parlor, and we both enjoyed a scoop of ice cream. I still remember her pointing out how her sister’s picture was on their wall. I think she hoped that her photo would be there one day. She barely talked unless I threw a question her way. She wanted to see where I lived, so we drove by my house on the way to their trailer.
Fast forward a few months, and that silent little girl became a chatty one….if it was just us. She still tended to be on the quiet side when others joined. As time passed, that would change a bit. I would often invite her to family gatherings where my nephew, who was 5 years old than her, would take on the big brother roll and join us for games. Soon, we would celebrate our annual Match-iversary. Our 11th is approaching soon.
However, as I was getting ready to lay down and enjoy a catnap (one of my favorite perks of my teacher’s summer-off), I uttered to myself, “This has been a BIG day, and it’s only 2:30.” I immediately thought of Lacie. Why? It never failed…when she was young and we had plans beyond a simple meal, she would get in the car at the end, and as I drove her home…she would exclaim, “Thanks, Jodi! This has been a big BIG day!” And…by the next corner….she’d be asleep in the backseat of my car.
Why has today been a big day?
Well, I was in Hanover by 7:30 and walked a mile. Then, picked up some supplies for VBS. Kevin, our IT guy, became my “Hero of the Day” by fixing my laptop which refused to load my “blog writing” page. Then, I delivered one of my “Jasper’s Pizzazz Words” books. Off to Madison, I walked my parents’ overweight dog. Stopped by Dollar Tree for a few VBS supplies and saw Courtney (Yes, she moved back shortly after Lacie & I were matched. Recently, she & I reconnected on Facebook, so I try to send her encouraging words in her personal journey.) Next, I stopped by my church to work on VBS prep since we start Monday at 9:30 and I teach the Bible study session. When I received a message from Lacie, I left VBS prep to go pick her up for lunch at 88 King Buffet (her favorite local restaurant, I’d guess). Then, we went to B-Bop’s to pick up a gift card before I took her home. In the meantime, I was reminded of a lemonade & cookie sale that a former student was doing to raise money for the VBS he was attending this week. While there, he & his sister were asking about my church’s VBS next week. Finally home…sent an encouraging message to a couple people…and realized that….I have had a big BIG day.
The cool thing is…I didn’t have to spend a lot of money to do it. I mean…I did spend $22 for lunch, $10 at Dollar Tree, and $5 at the lemonade stand….but that didn’t make it BIG. It’s BIG because of the people I’ve interacted with, the attitude/mood I’ve maintained, and the joy & peace that radiate inside me.
So….when was your last big BIG day? A day that impacts. A day that makes you smile. Cherish those.
If it’s been a while, I encourage you to look at your tomorrow. How can you make it a BIG day? Who can you lift up? What can bring you joy? Whatever the answer to those questions, I encourage you to integrate them into your day. And….if you can squeeze in a catnap, then…that’s just frosting.