The Making of a Big Sister Blog: How to take a break from ‘adulting’

I’ve discovered the cure for stress. No seriously, I have.

It’s a simple, but powerful, thing: Be a Big Sister or Big Brother.

This isn’t a sales pitch, folks.

As adults, we carry around a load of our various issues and it shows. I get what I call my “pinchy face” … or what my hubby calls my “back off” look. (He literally goes the other way when I sport that look.)

I had the pinchy thing going on Friday when I made my weekly visit to my Little Sister’s school. Usually, Amanda and I will hang out in a quiet room and do school worksheets, play flashcard games or read.

I don’t do math very well, but I try to help!

But on this day, her teacher asked if I’d like to join the class for painting time. Of course, I was all for that! I thought I’d enjoy watching the little folks paint.

The teacher had a surprise for me, though. She set up a desk beside my Little just for me! I stood in line with the rest of the class and got my paints, paper and water.

Amanda’s second-grade teacher is a true artist, as can be seen in her room’s decorations. She glows when she is showing children how to express themselves through art.

The teacher did this large mural in chalk!

As a class, we followed her example of showing sunny yellow flowing across the paper. Next, bossy red went into the corners and when the two colors touched … viola! A new friend, orange was born. Next, shy blue joined the party and crossed into yellow and red to make new friends, green and brown.

For a room full of second-graders, the vibe was calm and relaxing.

My Little Sister would make a stroke and then look at my paper to see what I was doing. Her smile lit up her face as much as the little kitty on her shirt sparkled with tiny pink gems. She’s such a little doll.

Mine is on the left (just in case you didn’t know that!)

When we were all done, the teacher had everyone parade past the desks to admire and compliment each other’s work. One young man told me I did a nice job with my blue paint.

Amanda asked me to hang out just a bit longer while they ate lunch in the classroom. I was feeling so mellow, that sounded like a great idea!

Her mom told me Amanda asks every day if it’s Friday and time for her Big Sister to visit. That just makes me melt. Then, her Match Advisor told me Little Amanda called her recently to tell her “My Big is doing a fine job. Thank you.”

That’s all the validation I need, folks. A pint-sized human thinks I’m doing a fine job, we shared a calming morning of painting and she asked me to stay longer.

As I walked back to my car and headed to work, I realized my face wasn’t pinchy. In fact, I was smiling … just because.

My diagnosis? My role as a Big Sister just reduced my stress level… and I’m sure Amanda’s big, bright brown eyes lighting up when I walked into her room didn’t hurt, either.

Not only am I making a child smile, I feel better myself!

I recommend you give it a try.

– Robin

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