KAUFMAN: Bonding with my baby brother over Lil’ Sibs Weekend
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For my youngest brother, last weekend was the most anticipated few days of the year: Lil’ Sibs Weekend at Marquette.
After months of pestering me about when he can come visit campus and hang out with my friends and me, the time had finally come for my 9-year-old brother, Alex.
Because of our double-digits age gap and me being away at college, it has been difficult to spend as much time with him, as with the rest of my family.
Although I get to see him every time I go home for holiday breaks, Lil’ Sibs Weekend gives us an opportunity to spend one-on-one time together that we would not have gotten otherwise.
For a few days, Alex sees the apartment where I live, coffee shop where I work and buildings where I go to school. He is able to experience, as he calls it, the “big city” of Milwaukee and visit the places I reference in stories I share with my family when I’m home in Green Bay.
With him visiting, I also have new experiences. I am able to see a kid-friendly side of Milwaukee I wouldn’t if I weren’t with him.
Each time Alex comes, we go to Discovery World. Next to the Milwaukee Art Museum along the lake, it looks seemingly inconspicuous, but Discovery World is home to a great science museum and aquarium I never would have checked out if not for entertaining Alex.
A three-year veteran of Lil’ Sibs Weekend, Alex knows the drill and is already asking when we will go bowling at the Annex as soon as he gets dropped off at my apartment. Our weekend together always consists of an afternoon at Discovery World, lots of bowling and Pixar movies.
Throughout the weekend, he fills me in on his life: the trials and tribulations of the third grade, little league baseball starting up and the latest family vacation. With this weekend happening once a year, it provides a great opportunity to see how he has changed and grown up with each visit.
As college students, we all get caught up in our own lives and busy schedules. Family time can get put on the back burner, and I often feel guilty that I can’t play a larger role in Alex’s childhood.
It wasn’t until my mom called me the day after Alex left Milwaukee to tell me how he couldn’t stop talking about our weekend that I realized the impact our time together has on both of us. Although we can’t see each other as much as we would like, Lil’ Sibs Weekend provides a great opportunity to create memories we both hold dear.