Calvin is… pretty effin great. I have a couple of bosses, but the big boss is so much more down-to-earth than I’d have ever imagined (+ she’s a Jay-Z fan #points). Every interaction I have with her, I respect her so much more. She asked our entire department to dedicate a day to community service projects. I chose to work with kids with Free Arts NYC.
I wasn’t… scared, really. I just knew. I knew that I don’t have any children and any child in my possession is a nerve wracking ordeal. Sparing you the details of “kids will be kids” I can say, I learned a ridiculous amount of wisdom from a 7-year-old. I’d say she mentored me more than I did her.
The Free Arts NYC program we participated in takes place on Saturdays from 10am – 3pm and all you pretty much do is arts & crafts. *sigh of relief* It’s brilliant because you don’t really have to teach the kid anything… you simply get to spend time & that was what I found most valuable. Sometimes, all you need is someone to make you feel special. To look you in the eye when you’re having conversation. My buddy & I talked about everything and nothing: School, art, birds, architecture, God. “Nobody is perfect,” she told me as I tried to manage her and another 6-year-old (who was a boss). “Only God.” She finished explained. I sat back and exhaled. I spent lunchtime trying to understand how this little girl understood. I was having a tough time, man. Dealing with another person’s child is difficult, but in that, you see how beautiful children are. All they want to do is sit, laugh, glue & eat pizza… and make a new friend here and there. A bit of attention. Isn’t that what we all need, though? Not only was this great for the kids, but this gave me a bit of outside time with my 9-5 family that I surely appreciated 🙂 (#Secretly, I love my day-job.)
I’m afraid of of commitment, but I try to avoid giving my word when there’s too great of a chance I’ll go against it. I like the Saturday program because it’s not an all the time thing. Perhaps I can go once a month. Or once every two months… or whenever. I’m just glad there’s a place where –when I feel the urge to care for my fellow man– and I give myself and my simple presence will be appreciated. At the end of the program Seven Collective performs for the kids (fab show! They enlighten, entertain and inspired the entire crowd.) They had this skit where you pretend to walk down the street and tell everyone why you should be noticed. I looked over at my buddy and saw her gazing over the crowd. “What to go up with me?” I asked and she nodded. “What do you wanna say,” I was curious. “Smart?” she whispered. I grabbed her hand with a “Let’s go,” just as Seven Collective announced they were wrapping up. Now, I’ve got to go back to Free Arts NYC just so that she & I can strut across stage and be proud of how smart we are. Kids are beautiful, man. Talk about rewarding, eh?
So… that’s what I did last Saturday. If you’re interested in volunteering, kids, arts, crafts or pizza…
Free Arts NYC might be the program for you. Or donate, that’s cool, too 😉