Several years ago I was in a quaint, small-town bookstore. As I chatted with the sixties-something bookstore owner she noticed my three daughters. “Are those girls yours?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said proudly.
“Hmmm . . . ” she said, stroking her chin. “Come with me.” She beckoned me to an obscure corner of her store, and, glancing furtively at my girls, she leaned in close to my ear. “Let me give you some advice,” she said in a low voice. “Someday, when your girls get older they will want nothing to do with you. They will not even want to talk to you.”
“No,” I reassured her, “Not my gir–”
“Listen closely,” she interrupted, “and I will tell you what to do when that happens.”
Then she whispered to me her secret. It was truly brilliant. I tucked her advice away in my mind so that I would be able to use it someday “when my daughters want nothing to do with me” (which of course will never happen). I will share her secret with you.