Monday, January 24, 2011

National Mentoring Month :: Curtis plans his future

Four years ago, when I was 59 and Curtis was 6, we became brothers..That first few minutes, when others were around, he was uncertain. Once we were out on our own, the MIKE AND CURTIS STORY started and It has been an awesome adventure ever sense. I want to take this time to share with you one of my favorite moments.

Two years ago, when Curtis was nine, we were part of an overnight camp out with other fourth and fifth grade boys, and some of their fathers, from our church. We all pitched tents, fished, ate hobo stew, played around the fire, went on a midnight hike, roasted marshmallows, went frog gigging, and slept a couple of hours (yes, on the ground). The next morning Curtis and I got up early to head home, as we had tickets to the Purdue football game.

When we arrived at the game, we found ourselves sitting next to a BIG sister and her Little.. They had been sisters for many years. Curtis started telling them about his camping trip as he was trying to twirl a soda straw in his fingers. His story was great but his twirling was terrible. He asked them how did they knew how to twirl so well. They told him that that was what girls did while boys were out catching frogs and fishing. They also told him that the BIG was teaching the LITTLE to drive.

After the game, Curtis and I went to my house for a while. Curtis started telling my wife Deb, about his adventures of the last two days while I went to unpack our camping gear. When I returned, Deb was laughing hysterically. She recounted this part of Curtis's story to me. -- Curtis announced to her that when he turns sixteen, I am going to teach him to drive. He said, "You know how Mike picks me up and takes me fishing, or takes me to church, or to play golf? Well, when I can drive I will be able to pick Mike up at the nursing home and take him fishing, to church or to play golf." How we enjoyed that story and still enjoy it today.

Later it dawned on me that the really important part of that story was unspoken. It wasn't that he wanted me to teach him to drive. It was deeper than that. Curtis believes that we will be brothers eight years from now and that he will want me to be teaching him to drive a car. Our story is important in that I want to develop opportunities to show that following principled paths are the best ways to be prepared. It is extremely important that Curtis allows me those opportunities and values them.Thank you for being a part of the Mike and Curtis story.

Mike Webster lives in Linden, Indiana. He is a volunteer for the Greater Lafayette Big Brothers Big Sisters program. He and Curtis have been matched since January 2007 when Curtis was just 6 years old.

Click here to learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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