My daughter reminded me of a great lesson the other day. A guy from her 7th grade homeroom class asked her to go on a date. He has secretly had a crush on her since then but they’ve not really encountered each other in the past few years. She went back and forth, asked her friends, talked with me and finally decided to say yes. Everyone told her what a nice guy he is. She’s already looking toward a bigger world after graduation and so is not really interested in anything more than friendship which, as a parent, I am all for! I told her to go have fun with this guy and just be nice. Everyone can use a good friend.
The date got down-sized a couple times and turned out to be an evening coffee rendezvous at the local hot spot. Two and a half hours later, she returned home with a funny, surprised look on her face. “He’s really interesting,” she said. “I had no idea he was so philosophical.” She went on to tell us about this guy’s hopes and dreams for the future, how entirely nice he is and how surprised she was by his intelligence, ideals and depth. “I would have never known that about him.”
The next day as we were eating lunch, I asked her if she had anything else to share about the date. “When I was getting into bed last night, he texted me and said that it was the best evening he’d had in a really long time. He apologized if he’d talked too much, but I told him that I enjoyed listening.”
How often does that happen? That we sit down with someone we don’t know very well and just let them have run of the conversation? I know there are times in my own life that I just want someone to be on the opposite side of the coffee cup and let me go on until I can’t think of anything else to say. What a gift that is! A safe place to spill your guts, knowing that the other person isn’t going to be mean or judgmental or blab it all to the local gossip. What a gift.
I’m so proud of my daughter. She reminded me: darlin’… don’t fear what you don’t really know.