Today Is My Nana’s Birthday

Short post incoming, picture-less.

Make it snappy.

Yes yes. You’re always so quick to the gun…

First and foremost, words cannot properly express my Nana’s grandiosity; however I will give it a —succinct and nectarous—shot.

My Nana advanced one spot on her timeline today, to another double digit spot on her calendar. The first digit is 8; the second will remain shrouded in mystery.

Ahh, 8: that is her favorite number. That was also my favorite number growing up, because it was her favorite number; I loved—and still do—her that much.

Did you realize that today is the 8th of the 8th? That makes a lot of 8’s for someone whose favorite number is 8. Although this favoritism might have stemmed from the fact that her birthday is on the 8th of the 8th, that does change the reality that her favorite number is 8.

Briefly put, all that matters is that today is a rocking woman’s birthday, as I know it is the case for many others out there—although I will stick to Nana in this post, seeing as I don’t know anyone else.

You don’t know anyone besides your Nana? You would win a popularity contest.

Well, I do… But not whose birthday is today.

We are going out to grab a coffee and see a movie tonight to celebrate her birthday. We are going to see the last showing at the cinema, which is customary for us—the showings we go to are always post-10:00PM. Talk about a NON—Night Owl Grandma.

And you’re a SAC.

So Awesomely Cool?

More like Snappy Acronym Creator.

Ahh… Why thank you.

Knowing her, she won’t be asleep until at least 3:00AM or 4:00AM tonight, hours after the movie has finished. I’ll definitely hit the sack before her, as I do almost every night of the year. Remember, NON.

And finally, I must admit that I don’t even celebrate my own birthday that much, but for Nana, going out to see a late movie to celebrate is something I want to do, for her.

Which birthday do you like to celebrate the most? Is it your own, or someone else’s?

Foot-note: eight eight eight eight eight eight eight. 8.

My Five Year Testimonial

Straight to the point today.

Go for it.

Here I go.

Go!

I have been a Big Brother with the Big Brothers Big Sisters association for just over 5 years now. I was asked to write a testimonial of this experience. After shedding many tears yesterday while writing, I felt like sharing this with you all.

Here is the result of what will be read tomorrow night at the annual meeting:

Good evening to you all (from a distance, since someone will be reading this in my place),

I started my adventure as a Big Brother just over 5 years ago. Let me take you back to that time, since it is the starting point of a wonderful journey that has allowed me to evolve tremendously.

My mother told me about the Big Brother Big Sister association one day while driving in the car. Just to situate you all, I was 19 at the time, and I have one brother who is four years younger than me. Only a few weeks after hearing about the association from my mom, I was already sitting in front my computer screen, all excited, writing an email to the association to express my interest in becoming a Big Brother.

After a short amount time, my first meeting was setup with Christian, my soon-to-be little brother. I was explained that Christian was a 9 year old boy who liked sports and video games. This was perfect seeing as I am a video game, board game and sport aficionado.

I met Christian and his family with the caseworker on a nice sunny afternoon, and I will admit I was a little shy, and so was he! It was a good thing someone from the association was there to help break the ice (even the sun that day wasn’t enough to melt the ice away!). The meeting went well; we played some frisbee, chatted a little bit, and once finished, we setup our next meeting. We decided we’d play some board games next time. Christian didn’t know much about board games, but he seemed very interested in delving into something new.

During our next meetup, we played board games for a few hours. With this, and the next few meetups, we quickly discovered our activity which we still do every time we see each other until this day: play board games! Within a month or two, Christian became much more comfortable and we started discussing about our lives, video games, his family, my family, and every thing that came to mind!

Fast-forward one year.

I was contacted by the association saying that I had fulfilled my minimum 1 year mandate. My reaction was “Really? It definitely doesn’t feel like a year has already passed!”. They asked if I planned to stop or continue with Christian and the association. I sat there, perplexed. To me, there was only one legitimate answer. Just the thought of not getting to see Christian anymore squeezed my heart. I felt like I now had a second brother, and I could not fathom cutting this deep bond that had been created between him and I. I answered saying I planned on continuing for the years to come. But throughout the following years I was even more surprised with what happened and how I felt: the bond deepened, and we started talking even more, had a few sleepovers where we played a lot of games, and our relationship evolved into something I never even imagined.

The tipping point was the day of our 3rd yearly meetup with the caseworker. Every year, Christian, his family, the caseworker, and myself meetup to keep tabs on how every thing is going. There was one of Christian’s answers during the meetup which touched me profoundly (even now, as I write about this moment, shivers are creeping down my arms and a tear is dripping from my eye).

Each year, Christian was asked “What is it that you enjoy the most of spending time with Jonathan?”. The first two years, his answer was the same. He answered: “I get to play a lot of board games!”. An answer which I was happy to hear, because it reinforced the fact that the activities we were doing were chosen in duality, and that I wasn’t forcing my hobby upon him. But during the 3rd year’s meeting, he gave a different answer. His answer was:

“I just like spending time with Jonathan. I feel like I now have an older brother.”

Such a simple answer, yet it revealed so much to me. A wave of emotions swept over me, and in that instant I realized how grateful I was of having decided to become a Big Brother. It has been one of the decisions that has impacted my life the most in an indescribable way.

To this day, I still see Christian every two to three weeks, and yes, we still always only ever play board games. And we love it!

The 5 years have passed so fast. And just thinking about spending another 5 years with Christian brings a smile to my face.

Foot-note: want to play a board game? I sure do.