Because I am a mentor, I am a better father.
To be honest, I had reservations about becoming a Big Brother. I haven’t shared this with anyone, given the obvious irony that I am CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest.
It wasn’t the idea of spending time with a Little Brother. I was concerned what my son would think. He’s 12. Although he doesn’t ask for it, he really needs me in these middle school years. He needs his independence but also needs me. How might he react if I was to start spending time away with another kid? Abandoned? And what my Little think, knowing I have a Main Man at home?
Fast forward six months. Something unexpected has happened. I am a Big Brother. I think I’m a good one. I’m also a better dad. In becoming a Big Brother, I’ve structured more meaningful time with my son than I had been. Weekends would go by and we’d actually never get any one-to-one time, just pass by in our various pursuits. Now that I spend weekend time with my Little Brother, I make sure I spend time EVERY day with my son, one-to-one — wrestling, shooting baskets, solving a Sudoku. Small stuff. But Big stuff.
In my own experience, I have broken the myth that men with sons can’t mentor. I’ve learned that I have more to give than I was giving. I’m a better Dad and a better Big Brother. And I am grateful for both.