It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the sun was shining, it was unseasonably warm, and there were smiles all around. As I helped my oldest daughter onto her burlap sack at the top of the hill, she caught a glimpse of a caterpillar. One of the big furry guys had picked the top of this hill at the commercialized pumpkin patch for his home. Suddenly, the caterpillar was the most important thing on earth. The hill and impending slide to the bottom faded into the background.
She grabbed up her new black and brown friend and hit the slide, cupping the little fellow all the way to the bottom. The rest of the day was all about the caterpillar. He was officially a part of the family, for what I estimated to be the next four to six hours. Even so, I still feared for his inevitable fate and kept a watchful eye for his healthy exit.
It was about two weeks ago when I remembered seeing a commercial, strategically sandwiched between college football games, which touted butterflies for sale. That was his window. The little guy could safely re-enter caterpillar society if he were replaced. I suggested to both small girls that we buy butterflies and set this one loose. It was the easiest sale of my life, like selling butter to bread.
In a matter of seconds we were on the website buying butterflies. Of course, they come delivered as larva that become caterpillars and then grow to butterflies.
We placed the order for the butterflies and I closed the laptop lid with great satisfaction. At four years old, the oldest shouts, “Where are the caterpillars?” I replied, “They’re on their way.” She responded to me with the impatience that only a four-year-old can offer, “Download them now daddy!”
We live in a world of instant gratification. It’s called interconnected, but really it seems we underestimate the number of us that would prefer some disconnection. I don’t mind waiting on the caterpillars. However, it would appear that as younger and younger audiences take more prominence in the market, that expectation is shifting. Download the caterpillars; it’s my new analogy for the speed of which people expect things. Right now please!