Sunday, September 8, 2013

52 Acts of Random Kindness, Week 6

Uh oh, balloons again!
This week was a whirlwind!  With Labor Day kicking things off, it was amazing how the time seemed to fly by.  One thing I've realized when trying to accomplish these random acts is that time can sneak away like a thief in the night quicker than you think it can.  Before I even realized it, the week was just about up and I had yet come up with a plan or have something presented to me by the universe.  Yes, there I go with that universe talk again!

After a shorter than expected week, due to the holiday and a "long" week at work, you know the kind of "long" I'm talking about when I have to use the quotes, right?  Well after the "long" yet short week, I almost copped out of my usual random act.  That is not to say that I had nor performed an act of kindness before almost running out of time today.  That simply means I almost let myself get away with using another project I supported take the place of this week's act.  Let me explain...

Once upon a time, I was a professional ballet dancer.  As a young dancer in training, I had the wonderful opportunity to train with the Houston Ballet Academy, by invite, after studying there a couple of summers in a row.  To be invited to remain as a regular student in such a prestigious school after summer training, well let's just say everyone in the ballet world knows how amazing that is.  But I am not here to toot my own horn, well maybe just a little bit, but anyways I'm getting to a point.  At the Houston Ballet Academy, I had the astounding luck of being cast in a ballet by a newly burgeoning choreographer named Trey McIntyre, who at the time was also just a student.  Although I could tell he was a force to be reckoned with who had more talent in his little pinkie than most people can begin to comprehend, I never knew exactly how far he would take that talent.  Trey went on to choreograph for the Houston Ballet at first, but much greater things awaited him.  Today, besides being a much sought-after choreographer the world over who has received numerous awards for his works, he also runs his own dance company, the Trey McIntyre Project.

He's pretty much the shiznit!
I've been keeping up with his company through Facebook for some time now.  This past week I got wind that he was trying to get a documentary into the works that essentially recreates a collaboration that took place back in 2008 between his band of troubadours and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans. That is just the fine surface layer of this project entitled Ma Maison.  I urge anyone reading this to go check out the link to get a much more in-depth feeling of what this documentary is all about.  In order to get this documentary into works and off the ground, he was using the Kickstarter website to raise the funds.  All in all, he needed $18,000.  Once I heard of the project, he was just $1600 shy of meeting his goal.  I threw in a small contribution, because to this day I am still moved by what he does and by my experience the brief moment of time I had the pleasure of seeing him in action as well as being a part of that action.

With all that said, I did not initially intend to make my contribution to his documentary project my random act of kindness for this week.  However, as the week drew to a close and I had nothing else in the works, I decided Friday night I would let myself slide and use it as my deed of the week.  But it didn't sit well with me.  Although it was a nice gesture to give something to his project, even if it was just a small something in the great scheme of things, I was getting something in return...a thank you note, a DVD copy of the original two ballets that were a part of Trey's seminal collaboration down in The Big Easy, and a copy of the documentary film to be released next year.  Plus, I did not give to the project with the intention of using it as my act of kindness for the week.  So even though it was a nice gesture, it was a cop out, of sorts, to use it.

So, last night I decided to change all that today.  I made a plan.  It wasn't a life-changing plan, and it did incorporate balloons, which I have used before, but it was a plan!  I decided to get up this morning, get my butt in gear, go grab my nieces as partners in crime, run out to Party City and grab balloons and miniature bottles of bubbles, tie the balloons to the bottles, and drive around handing them out to random children around town.  The bubbles were not part of the original plan, they I decided upon once the balloons had been chosen.  Who doesn't love bubbles, right?  Actually they made Piper cry in the bathtub the other night, but I'll save that hysterical story for later.

One of the many balloons!
Once I had my plan, and everything was set in motion, my feelings about this week's deed changed.  The giving away of balloons and bubbles felt more in line with the spirit of the kindnesses I've been performing. I'm assuming it's because handing a child a balloon and seeing their face brighten into a big grin is just more personal and satisfying.  I love to see children smile, I think that is why all but the first random act has involved children.  Plus, I feel children take these things more to heart and learn about being nice to strangers more than maybe an adult would.  I'm probably wrong about that, as I was influenced by an adult, but whatever.

A view behind my seat! 
View of the passenger side!
It was great fun having my nieces involved with this one, and much necessary as I have no idea what I would have done had I implemented the plan and got all those balloons in the car by myself to give away.  While it was only twelve balloons, they took up all the space!  It was a madhouse in my ride!  My nieces had so much fun that they want to join in on future excursions of giving and fun.  That really makes me feel awesome.  I love that they enjoyed the experience and that the kindness bug rubbed off on them, too!  Piper enjoyed coming along, also.  I'm not sure what she thought about the mayhem of the car being filled with balloons, but she sure did not complain they entire time.  She also loved Party City for all it's colorfulness.  I think she liked the Halloween decorations more than anything else.  That girl is definitely not scared of spooky ghosts and ghoulies.

You can sort of see Piper's carrier on the left!
In the end, we were able to find ten children out and about with their parents.  We actually found eleven, but one parent wouldn't let us give their child a balloon, which was sad.  I think she was creeped out by us, and there is always the overly cautious parent out there, it happens.  We tried to give away all twelve balloons, but in the end time ran out as Piper got hungry.  We wrapped up our adventure with frosty treats and Sonic. The last two balloons and bubble sets ended up going to my nieces for being such great companions and sports, couldn't have done it without them!  It was a totally awesome day!

Good Sport award #1!

Good Sport award #2!
Although my week was running short, I managed to complete my task before time got the better of me. Now I am hastily typing out this blog entry to try and reach the midnight deadline.  I have just around 50 minutes left, so time to wrap things up, throw in some pics, and get this puppy published!

Piper helped!
I hope you have once again enjoyed your foray into my crazy little world.  Please show your appreciation by dropping me a vote over at Top Baby Blogs.  After that, come join me and Piper on Facebook and/or my other social sites by checking out the links below.  Remember, I am always updating daily on Facebook, so it's a great way to get the dish before it hits the blog!  Also, I'll be doing a very special act of kindness this next week that will incorporate my Facebook page, so stay tuned and play a part if you wish!!

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