Although I’d asked my father for many things in my short life, I had never before asked him for his understanding. Throughout my twenty two years, when our ideals and values differed, I let it slide; whenever my priorities collided with his plans, I let him have his way. I never voiced an opinion, never uttered a sound that would have given him the prior knowledge he needed to dull the pain of my now spoken request.
In the end, my words just tumbled out, urgently, far ahead of conscious thought, thoroughly disregarding my much edited script; half way through my impromptu speech, my father gave up looking at me and turned his eyes down, seeming to inspect the yellow formica kitchen table where we both sat.
When I'd finished, and he stood to leave, I felt it would be the last time I’d see him, for my life had now made a two-wheeled corner turn from which it could not recover; but as my father reached the back door, he stopped and, looking me in the eyes so I could see he had begun to weep, he said: “I’m very proud of you, son - we’ll talk about it tomorrow.”