What’s the word?

With seemingly endless time on their hands during the summer, kids have time to take on any number of new and exciting endeavors. They can take up a new sport. Or a hobby. Paint, play at the pool, or just relax with a book.

One of the new activities my son has taken up this year is running.

One of the new activities my son has taken up this year is running.

But sometimes all that extra time gives them just a little too much time to think, and all that thinking led to an interesting question from my son.

I was relaxing, a glass of sweet lemonade next to me, the glass cold with drops of condensation slowly eeking their way down the side of the glass. That’s when my son posed this question to me: “Dad, if you had to describe me in just one word, what would it be?”

Hmmmmm. Now there’s a stumper. When I help clients with their markekting, I ask them to tell me what one sentence they would use to describe their business. That’s challenging enough. But just one word? It seems next to impossible to describe someone you love, someone you’ve shared your life with, in just one single word.

I really wasn’t sure how to answer. So I turned the question around. “I’m not sure. What word would you use to describe me?”

Without even pausing my son answered, “hardworking.”

I felt good and bad at the same time. It’s nice that he thinks of me that way, but how was he able to come up with an answer so quickly? And now the pressure was really on. But there were so many words that I could have used to describe him.

Fun. Caring. Inquisitive. Smart. Enthusiastic. Energetic.

And those were just the first words that came to mind. Picking any of the one seemed to ignore so many of his other qualities and characteristics.

Insightful. Giving. Outgoing. Mature. Conservative. Math-enabled (ok. That’s not really a word, but what’s the word for being good at math? See? That’s as close as I could get.)

“Well, dad. What word would you use to describe me?”

I looked at him with so many possibilities bouncing through my mind, but I finally answered him. “There’s only one word that I can use that describes you completely, and that’s ‘Sam’.” I explained to him how his name encompasses all of the wonderful talents and qualities that make up who he is, that make up the person that he is.

Ok, I may have cheated just a smidgen. But it seemed like the only answer that really seemed to work.

If you had to describe yourself or someone you loved in just one word, what would that word be?


  1 comment for “What’s the word?

  1. June 23, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    What a great question, and you already cited the reason it’s a tough one to answer. I think you gave a perfect and loving answer for your inquisitive son. I am going to ponder this one for myself!

    Your request for guest post threw me for a (good) loop. I’m in my usual writer’s stumbling block but I have no doubt inspiration will strike soon!

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