I'm Thankful for Camels and Sharks

I’m likely not alone in feeling a little down as of late.  I’m not alone… right?  Anyone?

The fall has never felt more appropriately named as it has this year.  Regardless of your choice for President, or lack thereof, the entire before, during and now after of this year’s campaign has been hard to take.  But on the bright side, we only have about three years before we get to do it all again.

The Cubs.  Yes, my saviors of the season did provide a welcome release from the swirling political winds.  But to say, as a life-long Cubs fan, that I actually enjoyed watching the World Series would be like me saying I enjoyed having my home’s sewer pipe roto-rooted.  The roto-rooting, like the Series, was necessary and its result desirable.  Still, the noise, the grinding, the stress, the expense, the smell (more with the roto-rooting) made the road to the most important team-sports championship since Cain’s softball team was upset by Abel’s less than fun.  [Note: I read online that Cain and Abel’s relationship was never quite the same after that.]

Still, GO CUBS, GO!

Which brings me to camels and sharks.

Maybe it’s the presidential campaign.  Maybe it’s the sore winnering or whiny losering that has followed.  Maybe it’s the fact that it seems to get dark now shortly after lunch.  Whatever the reason, as the list of things that consistently annoy me is reaching War and Peace lengths I’ve also recently been more keenly aware of things that bring me true joy.  My senses for this feeling seem highly tuned these days.  

This hasn’t been a conscious thing on my part.  It’s been a pleasant accident actually, an accident that one recent morning nearly brought me to tears at seeing my six year old standing at my closet door fully dressed and beaming rather than outlining his battle plan for the 653rd straight day of mortal combat over this basic daily task.

So, the camels and sharks.

I work in the business of words.  Messaging.  Communications.  And much of our work comes as a result of the fact that a large portion of the human race is thoroughly intimidated by the written word.  Frankly, some of it is laziness.  “Go wordsmith that” is a much easier directive than sitting down and typing out a few basic talking points.  For many, however, real mental paralysis sets in at the prospect of communicating through the writing of words on a page or a screen.  From a business standpoint, I THINK THIS IS GREAT!

That said, my 4th grade son is not a playing client, quite the opposite in fact, and so when I see his humor, his smarts, his cleverness, his Al Gore Lock Box-type brain when it comes to all things sports and history, I see the makings of a great writer.  His interest in and patience for it, however, has never been there.  Writing has bored him.  Distracted him from valuable time fighting pirate battles on his iPad.  You’d think in asking him to write a simple “thank you” note for a birthday present I was asking him to forfeit every victory earned on MLB 2016.  Granted, he’s nine, so you’re likely thinking, “Dude, get a grip,” but I was starting to wonder if he might be destined for a life of delegated wordsmithing.  Until I opened his homework folder this past weekend.

Cue the camels and sharks.

Reading this brought me one of those recent moments of joy.  It’s funny, clever and relatively grammatically correct for someone writing one of his first essays.  And you can sense the enjoyment in his words.  He’s proud of it, too, and gave me that little satisfied smirk when I complimented him on it.  That, “I gotcha, Dad,” look.  

As Master Yoda might say, “maybe a wordsmith he will be.”  That makes me happy and that makes me thankful for his inspiration, the camels and sharks of the world, whatever their similarities and differences.

-- Matt