Big Brothers Big Sisters, in a fit of profound misjudgement, have foisted a hapless thirteen- year-old girl onto me for some heavy duty mentoring . Inga is finally a Big Sister, mothabitches!
For confidentiality purposes, I’ll call my Little Sister Katy. And she is little. Well, petite. So petite that sometimes I forget she’s actually a teenager and has been through more upheavals in her thirteen years than I have in twenty-nine and a half. I sometimes catch myself talking to her like a little kid, and give myself a mental smack. Thirteen-year-olds are just tiny grown ups in puberty stricken bodies, dontcha know.
We’ve had a few play-dates together, and while she never acts particularly thrilled to see or hear from me, she always tries to make me stay a little bit longer, and makes me confirm a time to come see her next. It makes me feel extraordinarily good. She doesn’t say much, but out of the corner of my eye I always catch her scrutinizing the hell out of me, looking at my hair, face, clothes, body – and I really wonder what she’s thinking. Probably “who does this lady think she is and why does she smell like tequila?”
The whole thing is equally intimidating and gratifying. On one hand I’m terrified of doing or saying something wrong, and my brain goes into overdrive with the effort to behave impeccably when I’m with her. On the other hand, the BBBS staff have an amazing knack for building confidence and making me feel like I can do no wrong. Sometimes when I call my co-ordinator for a chat, I hang up feeling like the Vatican’s about to contact me for beatification. Saint Inga of the Smirnoff.
On top of that, her real big sister loaned me the entire DVD set of Charmed. I knew I did this for a reason.