Over the past ten years, I’ve gotten used to a routine for my gigs. Send out contract–check. Load balloon bag—check. Put on balloony T-shirt and comfy shoes—check. Take TUMS to overcome some inevitable pre-gig jitters–check. Type address into GPS—check. Arrive at gig, meet client, start twisting!
But once in a while, I do a balloon gig that’s extra special. An event that’s more than a job. One that feels like a real “mitzvah”–a good deed. One that makes me remember just how fortunate I am and just how important it is to give back to those who are less fortunate than me. One that makes me feel so good about my ability to make balloons and bring smiles to people’s faces.
This past week, I was invited to make balloons at an outdoor picnic for United Cerebral Palsy of MetroBoston. My client had informed me before the event that there would be a lot of wheelchair-bound guests with severe physical disabilities. I responded that people were people and they all like balloons!
I have done gigs for organizations like UCP in the past, but for some reason this time I was particularly impacted by the guests. Maybe in my head I was thinking about a friend who recently fell ill who I was worried about. Maybe I was thinking about my daughter and how I want her to have a good long life of health and happiness. Whatever it was, I was so happy to be able to bring smiles to the guests that evening. So much so that I almost forgot I was being paid. At the end of the night, the smiles and vocalizations of happiness I received were as much of a gift to me as my balloon kitties, dogs, lions, hats, mermaids and vampire hats were to them.