Match Highlight: The Joy of Cooking with Big Sister Jessica Sedaca and Little Sister Alexis
“So what’s the name of our cooking show?” Big Sister Jessica Sedaca asks as low-calorie chocolate cookies bake in the oven of her Brighton apartment.
“Cooking with Jess and Lex,” Little Sister Alexis giggles.
Jessica and Alexis, or Jess and Lexie as they prefer to be called, were matched last July in a move that Lexie calls destiny. Jess joked that she is an older version of her Little Sister as they have so much in common, including a love of theater, musicals, movies, and food.
“I remember meeting [Jess],” says10-year old Lexie. “I was so excited. [Our Big Sister staff social worker] Mikki came into my house and said ‘Your Big Sister is outside’. I felt like I wanted to scream and I think I did.”
“I remember walking to her house and there were kids outside playing everywhere and all of a sudden someone is dashing towards me,” says Jess. “She gave me a big hug immediately and I said to myself ‘I can get along with this girl.’”
The cooking show idea began very simply. Jess loves to bake and recalls enjoying the time she spent in the kitchen with her older relatives as a child. She thought it would be a great way for the pair to bond. After their first recipe, a lush coffee cake, the two decided they should have theme nights. They would watch “Bend it Like Beckham” and make chicken curry or “Ratatouille” and prepare the eponymous dish.
Through their exploration of different foods and activities, Jess discovered Lexie’s fearlessness when it comes to new experiences. ”I love trying new things!” proclaims Lexie. With her Big Sister, she has found that she loves quinoa which is “yummy,” “The Princess Bride” and art museums, to name a few. They chat about the future, learning new languages and world travel. Jess turned Lexie on to the idea of visiting Europe one day. Lexie is particularly fascinated by Greece “because of the mythology.”
Over the course of their relationship, Jess has been amazed at how her Little Sister embraces life every day. Lexie relishes the simple things and reminds Jess to slow down and appreciate everyday pleasures.
“I’ve never seen anyone eat a Klondike bar with such abandon and joy… But she’s also taught me compassion.”
In her spare time, Little Sister Lexie raises money to create gift baskets for veterans at the VA Hospital where her mother works. She fills them with small gifts and homemade cards. She then delivers her creations with the openness and joy with which she greets life in general. The recipients are sometimes speechless, sometimes moved to tears, but always happy for the random act of kindness.
“She’s a great role model,” Jess says of her Little Sister. “You could be 26, 56, or 86 and learn so much from her.”
After giving her Big Sister a hug in appreciation at these words, Lexie counters that Jess has taught her how to be a better person. She also advises women thinking about becoming a Big Sister to do it:
“It’s so wonderful getting to find your perfect match.”