It wasn’t pretty and at times… it took me a few seconds to gather my thoughts. But I made it through.
It’s no secret that I work in the media industry. So, imagine when a consultant comes in for some training in, you are certain it will require you to do some public speaking.
I’m not a great public speaker by nature. I stutter and stammer as I search for the right words to say. And sometimes those right words are all the wrong words and can escalate a situation faster than the fight scene in Anchorman. But the moment you put a keyboard in front me, my mind starts to easily flow through my fingertips to the keys and eventually the screen.
Imagine with me if you will, that you are standing in front of a television camera. All of the studio lights are on. The cameraman in his headset taking cues from the director letting him know when to queue me. I hear the countdown…
3… 2… 1…
I freeze. I can’t think about anything I was going to say. I knew the who I was going to talk about, my son. I knew the what, Wild Kratts. I knew the where and when, on our couch every morning. But the words, the words I had practiced in front of the mirror the night before for this exercise were not coming out of my mouth.
Screw it Brandon… just talk about your son.
So there in front of the camera I stumbled through explaining that the favorite moment in my day is sitting down every morning with my son watching Wild Kratts. It wasn’t pretty and at times… it took me a few seconds to gather my thoughts. But I made it through.
I dreaded the part that would soon follow… watch yourself and critique.
I explained to our consultant that I get excited, so excited to the point that my mind moves 30 seconds faster than my mouth, so I’m thinking so far ahead of what I’m saying I forget what to say.
But then a colleague spoke up. This was a colleague that I respect and what she said was met with agreement by everyone else in attendance, “your eyes light up when you talk about your son!”
I always knew that I enjoyed talking about my son. So did everyone I worked with and he is one of the single biggest reasons I go to work everyday. I can directly see the impact that my job, producing television has on him.
It wasn’t until my colleague pointed it out to me, that even personally I had known how much my son means to me. Even though I’ve cried at kindergarten roundup, my colleagues had no clue what he really meant to me.
I guess I had become almost complacent in that I woke up everyday, got him ready for school, went to work, come home cook dinner and play with him that I nearly took that all for granted. Those little moments of playing LEGOs in his bedroom or building a train track meant so much to me. My colleagues don’t see those moments, so when it comes down to it they don’t know the meaning of my son to me.
But in that moment, a moment that I was with colleagues, with all of the stutters and stammers, they found out something that I had already known… just how much my son meant to me. The moment my eyes lit up, they learned what motivates me. They learned one of the main reasons I wake up every day and drive to work.
I’ve made no secret the meaning of my family to me when I am at work. There are numerous pictures that my son has drawn and pictures of both my wife and son around my desk. I have made sure that they understand that no matter what, at 5 o’clock, I shut off the computer and only check emails on my phone for the ones that are extremely important. Outside of that, I very rarely work outside of the normal 8-5… the working hours I cherish having, having worked overnights and weekends in the past.
With one more on the way, it won’t come as a surprise the day that I’m standing there in front of a camera, with the lights, nerves rattling through me, but maybe the next time, the story will be different, but my eyes will light up even more as I will have two little ones that are my pride and joy.
Until then, what story will I tell in….
3… 2… 1…