I never got into much trouble throughout high school because as soon as I had the freedom to think for myself and physically remove myself from the house via a moving vehicle, my dad spoke up.
"I can trust you 'til I can't trust you anymore."
Though it may seem trite and obvious, it had the effect he wanted. My dad is a reserved, quiet man and rarely raised his voice. But these words? They ran through my blood like ice. Disappointing him would be the end of me.
In the same sentence, he told me if I ever ended up in jail, I was staying the night. He wouldn't answer my one call from the cell. He wouldn't come pick me up. I'd be alone in the cold, cement ten by ten until the morning. One night during my senior of high school, I went to a baseball game with several friends. As we were weaving through the streets of downtown Houston, we passed a Bail Bonds building. Looking into the glow of its yellow-lit sign, I remember thinking, "If he's not going to pick me up, I sure can't afford bail."
I vowed never to get in enough trouble to end up in jail.
Trust is the foundation of any and every relationship. We first learn it with family by trusting our parents, and in turn, having them trust us as their children. We then learn it with friends by trusting who has our back and who we can count on. We eventually learn it through relationships and are heartbroken after dating the wrong person, or relieved when we find the person we can trust the most. And as sure as life is a full circle, we become the parents who have to put trust in our children that they will make the right choices.
It's true, his saying. Once that fragile bond of trust is broken, it is very, very hard to trust fully again. Possible, but hard. And though you can trust again, there is now a crack in the foundation. The trust you built with the other person won't ever again be one hundred percent.
I'd like to think the foundation with my dad is still solid. This is partly due to making sure he is proud of me and my decisions, and partly due to being scared out of my mind that he would really leave me in a jail for a night. I never tested that one, and I don't plan on doing it now.