This is the third post in a series on being part of a Big Couple through Big Brothers Big Sisters. If you haven’t read the previous posts and would like more context, click here for an archive of the posts.
On Sunday, December 28th, 2014, my husband, Daniel, and I were able to go on our first official outing with our Little, Ryan. After picking him up from his house, we headed back downtown to have an early dinner at Which Wich. Ryan was fairly talkative, but he seemed to be more interested in what we had to say.
If he was nervous, he didn’t show it. I think I was more nervous than he was since I don’t get to spend a lot of time with people younger than I am, and I didn’t want to make a bad impression on him. Plus, I was driving, so I was super nervous being responsible for the life of someone I hardly knew.
When we got to Which Wich, Ryan was super interested in their system of ordering (you basically check boxes on a paper bag and hand it to them). He was very polite to the staff members at the restaurant when they called his name for him to come pick up his sandwich and milkshake.
I’ve learned that sometimes, giving someone a chance to doodle can help them think and calm their nerves, so I gave Ryan one of the paper bags and a sharpie to doodle on. He ended up drawing things that are important to him, which included us (eep!).
Conversation ranged from video games to Sonic the Hedgehog to what he would like to do on future outings.
After we were finished eating, we headed downtown to Monument Circle because Ryan said he’d never been to see the Circle before. We hadn’t planned on heading there, so I sent his mom a quick message asking her if taking him there was all right, since it was still fairly early in the evening. She was okay with the detour, so we decided to head on over there. Luckily, it was still lit up and decorated for Christmas, so it was much prettier than it is normally.
We stopped into Rocket Fizz, which is a candy shop full of candies from all over the world. With Ryan’s help, we picked out some candy for his sisters, and Ryan picked up a soda.
The ride home was probably the best part, though. I am notorious for singing in the car, even without music, so I asked Ryan if he liked to sing. He did, so we ended up playing and singing along to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” the whole way back to his house.
Overall thoughts on our first outing:
I was waaay more nervous than I needed to be. Part of being a Big is just having fun with the Little. Not every meeting has to have a planned educational value, and sometimes the value comes from spontaneous decisions and trying something new.
Next Tuesday, I’ll write about our second official outing with Ryan at an arcade, so stay tuned for that!
Are you (or have you been) part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program? What have your experiences been like? If not, would you consider being a part of it? Let me know in the comments below!