Happy Mother’s Day to all our mothers! This week we celebrate the wonderful mums, caregivers, grandmothers and mother figures in our community.
As we lead up to Mother’s Day, it’s important to recognise the hard work that mums do. We also take our hats off to the women that sign their boys up to have a Big Buddy – it’s a big, life-changing step that takes some courage.
This Mother’s Day we talked to Christine and Kim about their family’s experience with Big Buddy. Their son Reece, 12 has been with his Big Buddy Nick for 18 months. Reece’s mums, Christine (a professor at the University of Auckland) and Kim (a midwife) researched Big Buddy when Reece was turning 11 as they felt it was a critical turning point in life. They felt he needed male role models, and it seemed to be all women teaching him at his school, swimming squad, gymnastics…. Reece also has an older sister, Issy, who is 16.
What made your family approach Big Buddy?
Recognising that Reece needed a positive male influence in his life. While there are men in his life – his grandfather, fathers of his friends, uncles and male cousins, these are all shared with other people – i.e. it’s the father of a friend, grandad is also his sister Issy’s grandad. For Reece, Nick is there just for him and this is something Reece has commented on.
What do you like most about it?
New experiences for Reece. Reece has Nick all to himself – not shared with anyone else. He goes with Nick every Saturday afternoon – it is something that is a regular feature of Reece’s week. We want him to be all that he can be. We are just not really into some of the things he is, like hunting, fishing and motorbikes. Nick has really stepped into that void.
Memorable things Reece has shared about his time with Nick?
Reece enjoys all of the things that he does with Nick – sometimes he goes with Nick when Nick is working – or as Reece says “working on a job”. Reece likes the fun things as well – they’ve been up the Skytower, to Parakai hot pools, over to Waiheke.
They also made a wooden katana sword with Nick over a couple of afternoons – Reece was keen to do some woodwork and had seen a sword on a video game so Nick suggested that they make one.
Nick was recently on Fair Go – he is a fencer and so was called in as an “expert witness” and it was great that we all got to see him on TV.