This past weekend, one of my coworkers brought his parents by a work event and I got to do the very fun thing that I get to do very rarely: giving honest, effusive comments. It feels weird (at least for me) to just turn to a friend and say “Do you know why you are extremely delightful? Well…” but much more natural to meet someone’s parents and say:
“Do you know the game Set? And there’s usually a point in the game where everyone stares at the cards that are left and says ‘Well, I’m pretty sure there aren’t any sets left’ but there’s that one person who always just keeps finding them? Well, that’s what your son is like, but for ideas. It’s impossible to get exhausted brainstorming when he’s in the room. But it’s never competitive or like he’s racing you; he’s even more delighted when it’s you that makes the connection. So thank you for giving him to us.”
And I should give a bit of the credit for this idea to my parents, who used to have my brother and me help them write thank you letters to our best teachers every year in June. It’s nice to learn what gifts you are already giving others, especially if you were unaware you were doing it.