Last year when my son Aaron moved into his apartment at college, he asked if he could borrow some of my tools. I hesitated. In his younger days, when Aaron used my wrenches, later I usually found them in the yard. The prospect of my tools going an hour away did not appeal to me.
Nevertheless, I gave my permission.
Two months later, Aaron came home for a holiday and said, "Dad, I put your tools downstairs," without my needing to ask.
I thanked him and at that moment had several strong feelings. I felt respected. I felt a new level of pride in him, for he had taken a step forward in maturity. I felt relieved about getting back my tools. Most important, I felt more trust in him (several things had strained trust of late). This simple act was a father-son trust event that drew us closer.
Trust events are some of the most charged moments in any relationship. They are inherently personal—even intimate—because at least one party is vulnerable. The result is either betrayal and alienation ...1