A Reunion Conversation

from Michael Riera’s “Making the Most of Difficult Conversations”

At my 10th reunion, I ended up talking to someone who I thought was the coolest and hippest kid in class. I had had a couple glasses of wine, so I just blurted out, “You know, in high school I thought you were the coolest kid in the whole school. You had parties that rocked and seemed to know how to handle yourself in any situation. And your clothes – they were the best! Your parents took care of you!”

He just looked at me, silent, for what felt like an hour, before he shook his head. “Funny. You’re the one I envied. Your parents were there for you and weren’t afraid to say, ‘No’ to you. You knew where they stood, while I didn’t even know if my parents really cared for me.”

I was shocked. At the end of the night, I had a new appreciation for my parents – they had neither indulged me nor crushed me. I always knew they loved me,  even when they were saying, ‘No.’”

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