At long last, the FBI finally gave Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island the green light on me not being a psychopath, sex offender, or terrorist, which means all systems are go for me to enter the BBBSLI program. So today, BBBSLI called to tell me about a Little Brother they had in mind for me.
The first words out of my case worker's mouth were, "He's one of our more challenging children," and then she went into a long list of what those challenges are. The kid has been through everything from an alcoholic drop-out "inappropriate" father, to living in a group home because his mother is frequently hospitalized. It was jaw-dropping to hear about his life and all his hardships and troubles and how his main goal is to boost his self-esteem so he can help his mom. And he's only 14. It's crazy that there are real kids like this out there. You hear these stories and think they're made for TV, but here I am getting a call to be a part of this kid's non-TV life.
I think the case worker is expecting me to get scared away and ask for a different Little, and I get until Friday to decide if I want to be this kid's Big, but I think I've already made up my mind that I absolutely want to be matched with him. My heart was already going out to him even before the caseworker went into the list of positive things about him, which are, among other things: he's into reading and science, is super smart (college reading level), and very insightful, and kind of awkward and nerdy (which were originally in the "negatives" column, but I've re-appropriated them).
So I'm going to take the next two days to digest everything. It's all a jumble in my head right now. But I expect to say yes on Friday and then they'll tell the kid they've got a potential Big for him, and if he's interested in me, we'll get to meet and see how it goes from there. I'm totally psyched. Super psyched. Mega psyched.