For the Teabag in All of Us

Not that kind of teabag. Don't be gross.

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Location: South Florida, United States

If I go about this properly, the blog will (eventually) explain enough about me, so let me just explain the blog, or at least the title of it, here:

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
--Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Little Sister

If I were Nat, I'd be snoopydancing right about now.

In December 04, after finally ridding myself of that ill which sucked up all my social energies (otherwise known as law school) and learning that I'd passed the bar (now, exhale...), I sealed a promise I'd made to my friend Kim a few months earlier -- that I would volunteer for the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters organisation. December. 04. I have been waiting for them to get their act together and match me with a little since then.

I know they are a volunteer organisation and they are of course understaffed, but a year+ is a little crazy. Not to mention the random communiques I would get from them in the interim... Um, we don't have a copy of your drivers license (yes they did), can you send? Um, do you have updated car insurance? (Of course I do, but hey -- a new policy goes into effect every 6 months, people, how long are we gonna do this dance?) But I obliged and waited, all the time getting more and more drawn into my 12-hour work days and other non-inspirational daily routine-type stuff.

Then finally, about 3 weeks ago, they called me with a match. And on Friday night, I went to meet her and her family. She is so cute. She's 9, diagnosed with and currently being treated for ADHD, and SOOOOO talkative. Like this kid gives ME a run for my money. She likes to sing and dance, and draw, and she loves animals, and she likes to write stories and OMG she is so cute.

And today we're having our first Big-Little outing. I'm taking her here:

I tried to do an html tag on that one but for some reason it's just not cooperating, so sorry!

We're supposed to try to do things that don't cost [much] money and advised against buying them gifts, especially in the early days. I'm not sure if she's too old for the Easter egg hunt? But I guess I will soon find out!

So I'm off to get ready and be a Big Sister. I'll let you know how it goes.


Blogger terry said...

that sounds like so much fun. for both of you.

3/26/2006 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger cutie said...

Way cool. I'm so impressed!

You go gurl!!!

3/26/2006 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Terry -- it was fun! The festival was pretty small so we didn't stay very long, but then we went to the mall, and then to the park... and then and then and then! She tired me out!

Cutie -- Thank you! We had a great time. I can't wait to see her again.

3/26/2006 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger DZER said...

yay for you ... I commend anyone who is willing and able to give their time to help others out, especially kids.

3/27/2006 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

You know I like volunteering and stuff. And I thought about doing that. But I have more patience for adults...and I am not sure they'd want me talking to a little girl about the media's construction of gender....ya know?


3/27/2006 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger JMai said...

Dzer -- Thanks! But I believe I am getting just as much out of it as she is. I come from a small family so I don't have a lot of kids in my life and if I'm going to be a mom someday (fingers crossed), then I'd better start learning how to deal with them in the right way!

Butt -- I'm sure you could find some less pedagogical subjects to discuss. I've known you a long time and you trend just as easily toward the ridiculous as you do to the intellectual.

3/27/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Yeah...but I would feel responsible for the mental well-being. And I am conditioned as a teacher. So she would be all for playing with her barbie and I would have to explain how barbie is a symbol of our patriarchal society and a locus for the subjugation of women and the normalization of the female body. And she just might start crying. See the problem?


3/27/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

LOL... the young female minds of America are doomed.

Although my Little never mentioned Barbie even once. She wanted to go to the mall and buy a book about Egypt.

How cute is that?

3/27/2006 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Old Bean said...

What can I say? Well done you. Start with Shakespeare and end with Rowling. Buy loads of chocolates (candy?). Have a great time that you both enjoy.

Jmai, where on earth do you get the time?

3/28/2006 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cressida said...

oh that is SO cool!! See, I've been worried about doing that because I don't have much money... but they don't want you to spend much?? yeah, but I wouldn't be able to help it.

Keep us updated! I'm so interested!

And keep her writing stories! Oh, and playing with animals!

3/28/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

oh man JM i've been thinking of doing that for years, i await your tales with bated breath!

also? PROPS girl :)

hey what's up with the cute bald boy?

3/29/2006 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Bean -- Not sure she would appreciate Shakespeare just yet... she's only 9! As for the time... hmmm. Not sure, especially these days!

Cress -- I think actually that with most of these kids, it's really important NOT to spend too much. Of course I came home that day a couple dollars lighter in the wallet, but they were small purchases (friendship bracelets for us both; a little book of motivational sayings that we'll use to practice her reading; of course lunch and ice cream!).

Also, during my initial match meeting, her mother explained to me that one of the things she wants me to help work on is her dominant attitude. She wants her to be a leader but she doesn't want her to manipulate people. So I actually felt really good about the day, because of course, once I bought a few things for her she caught on and tried to get me to buy more. She wanted to buy this children's book about Egyptology (long story) and she had just enough money to get the book. So as we passed different vendors at the festival, she expressed interest in this piece of jewelry or that fuzzy scarf, or a cowgirl hat, etc... and I reminded her that she only had $12, so which would she want more? Fuzzy scarf, or Egypt book? She chose the book every time. At the beginning she whined a bit, but at the end of the day? She bought that book and she was so happy!

I'm so excited about this!

3/29/2006 09:50:00 PM  
Blogger JMai said...

Sass! -- you were posting at the same time as I was writing that treatise on teaching children fiscal responsibility! Lol.

We had a fantastic time on Sat and I'm already planning our next outings in my head.

I want to take her and her puppy to the dog park, I want to take her to the science museum, I want to bake cookies with her, I want to have nail-polish sleepovers with her...

Oooh and? She told me that it was one of the best days of her LIFE. Do you have ANY idea how that made me feel? I'm getting weepy about it even now!

Thanks for the props!

3/29/2006 09:53:00 PM  
Blogger Natalia said...

Erm..yes all cute about the girl...but Sass also asked about the bald dude and we all want to know.


3/30/2006 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger JMai said...

ohmygosh I'll GET to it! lol...

3/30/2006 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great site
» »

8/29/2006 03:52:00 PM  

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