A Walk with My Daughter

By Matt Flynn, Senior Match Support Specialist

I recently took my daughter for a walk at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati.  Now I know what you are thinking: Cemetery? With your child? At Spring Grove they encourage people to walk and the grounds are kept immaculate. I recognized many of the names on the various gravestones, as they are street names, building names, names of those who have helped to make this city great.

My daughter took pictures with her Polaroid camera and sneaked up on birds to whistle at them. We looked for fish in the ponds and took pictures of the fountains. There are signs along the way guiding you on walks of varying length.  My daughter looked at the figure on the sign and said, “Dad, look, it’s Big Brothers Big Sisters.” She was referring to the old logo for our agency and I was impressed that she made the connection.

Sign with old BBBS logo

On our walk we passed by many others who have looked to walking as a form of meditation. If they are with another person it is a time to talk. If they alone it is a time to think and reflect. What I have noticed is that people are taking the time to stop and say hello and ask how one another is doing. We are doing this because we have a connection with one another, we are all realizing that we are on the same team.

This current situation has forced us out of our comfort zones, it has allowed us to break ties with our routines and gain something else: our freedom.  We have chosen to spend our time doing things and spending time with people that we have perhaps neglected or simply took for granted.  I have spent more time with my family. I have read more, exercised more and enjoyed being outside more. I have stayed connected with people and they have been meaningful interactions. We have all become more creative and innovative and have learned a great deal simply because we were being tested.

Matt’s daughter at Spring Grove Cemetery

Mentorship certainly has its own high level of caring and compassion and this crisis has really brought that out in us. It is a reminder that we are all connected and in this together, there is a unity, a bond that is bringing the whole world together. When we are faced with adversity we allow our true nature to shine through.  This is what we ask of our Littles – to rise above in trying times.

This is what I have experienced this week.  What has this experience been like for you?

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