“Happy first anniversary!”, I said to my sniffling and sneezing  little sister Destiny as she opened her apartment door. I smiled as she took her bouqet of orange (her favorite color and hard to find in) carnations and we discussed how we will celebrate next week when she got better. It was this time last year we gathered in her living room, Destiny, her mom Katrina, the Big Brother Big Sister match support coordinator, and myself sitting on the floor as usual. We happily answered questions about ourselves and we eyed each other trying to figure the other out. I quietly admired Des’ mom’s courage to let her daughter be mentored by an adult who left her childhood -five years ago.

Well obviously a year later and many laughs later we are two peas in a pod. I know several people who either are Big Brother or a Big Sis and they have all said they become like family. I would have to say this is becoming true. When I first stopped by to pick up Destiny it was the awkward little get to know you questions. Fast forward to present, Destiny in the midst of her snuffles asked  “you like my new glasses (the glasses are red,  a nice bright red)?!”, Katrina popping her head out of the kitchen to roll her eyes and shake her head wearily over the red glasses, and me smiling precariously at the glasses and smiling at Katrina’s exasperation. Yes, we are quite comfortable with each other.

The comfiness comes from a year of getting to knowing each other and building the relationship. We have our traditions now when we go out. We stop for ice cream whether it is rain, sleet, snow, or hailing and we haven’t missed a beat. Des and I had a brief discussion of replacing ice cream with hot cocoa in the winter, but that was just all talk. I still laugh at her wearing a big blue wig she for Halloween when she won at  UpStreet when she went to church with me that Sunday. She wore that thing out to Bagel Boys and kept laughing at people’s expressions, knowing full well that the joke was on them. Or the smiles and the competitive badgering we do when we play “I spy” in the car on the way to our destination.  I smile (Destiny doesn’t) when I remind her of the horrible Italian soda that she tried at the Coca-Cola museum. The stuff takes like old bath soap water, but I forgot to tell her that…oops. I do have that little incident captured forever on digital. The list goes on to even include us stinking up the Sears perfume department and ourselves with all the perfume we sprayed to smell test it.

There are many memories are countless for 2011 as we reflected on the above. With that we both said we are looking forward to many new adventures, we fist bumped (I am not a hugger and anyone who knows me this is my version of “the hug), and we said see ya later, knowing we both full well.

It is a privilege to have  a part of such a good program and hopefully more people will step up to the plate and actively participate in childrens’ lives . Each kid is different in terms of their needs and behaviors. Mine is not perfect and she has her struggles, but she is a smart and good kid, with a supportive mom. Not all kids have someone in their life that can guide them down the proper path. Take some time and be the light in this life’s journey.