Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SSG Boldly Goes Where No 33 Year Old Single Person Has Dared to Go

SSG likes to live dangerously.  Especially when DANGEROUSLY means getting splattered by paint while sitting at a table with a 10 year old and nary a cocktail to be seen anywhere.

I volunteer for Big Brothers & Big Sisters and have the CUTEST, SWEETEST 10 year old "little sister" that I hang out with for a couple hours every weekend.  I haven't said too much about her in the interest of protecting her privacy and what, with my penchant for working in a place where Hulk sized dudes on drugs rip apart ATM machines before getting tasered and love of la lemon drops, I worried y'all might call BB&BS and have them rethink their choice in mentors.

All kidding aside.  One of the first things they told us was we couldn't drink around the kids.  And I'm SURE I would have come to that conclusion on my own.  But it's always good to have these things hammered home.

Anywho.  Everyone is always saying how GREAT of a program BB&BS is.  And how WONDERFUL it is for me to donate my time.  And how they're SURE I'm making a massive impact on this little muchkin's life.  But the truth?  

She's pretty fucking kick ass and I think she's actually making more of an impact on MY life.

SSG, though occasionally edgy & jokey, has an annoyingly serious side to her.  Words like "perfectionist" and "introspective" come to mind but I think "stuffy adult" is more like it.  Somewhere along the way "play" got lost when "judgment" was found.  

But then my niece and nephew were born and I started volunteering in a first grade classroom and then with BB&BS.  I realized that kids can (sometimes!) be SO much more fun than adults.

Enthusiasm?  Check.
Lack of self restraint?  Check.
Judgement?  No way Jose.

And that's how I ended up at "Cerami Cafe" painting a cupcake while Miss Thang painted a frog.  And because I always want to be a positive role model, I really watch the things I say about myself in addition to the things I say to her.  There is NEVER a hint of sarcasm or self deprecation around that little girl.  

So when we walked into this jungle of paints and brushes and potential failure that was fertile ground for SSG's typical smart ass-iness and self doubt-iness, she instead could show NONE of it.  SSG couldn't say what she wanted to say, which was:

  "WhathappensifImessupmycupcakeanditlooksstupid?  WHAT THEN? THEN WHAT DO I DO?!?!"  

Instead, she had to force herself to be calm, relaxed with only an I LOVE PAINTING(!) energy radiating from every ounce of her being.  

And when Miss Thang worried what colors to paint her frog, we dealt with it.  And when she worried that it might look stupid, SSG looked her in the eye and said "There's no stupid in art.  There are no mistakes in art.  Art is only fun.  Art is always perfect as it is.  But best of all?  Art ALWAYS means play time."  Miss Thang smiled.  

"We gonna play, or what?"  I asked.

"YEAH!" she yelled, face breaking into an even bigger smile.

Just like SSG's heart.


Big Hair Envy said...

I thought the sun was shining a little brighter in the direction of Portland!! How cool that you are a Big Sis :)

Lys said...

That is one cause I would LOVE to participate in. I'm gonna have to wait until the big move to get involved in more charity work but that is just fabulous!

SSG - c'mon - serious?? I think that the seriousness fades away after a limoncello or two ;)

HalfAsstic.com said...

OH YEAH! That's what it's all about! You are SO wise, SSG! Be my big sis?

Anonymous said...

Nice goin', SSG! Reaching out, is a good thing, however and whenever one does it. Kudos to you on your caring heart!