In a dramatic departure from her usual topic—raising her child—Allie was discussing parenting. Conversation drifted to the adult children of lousy parents and the hazards they face.

Finally, something I can contribute to this conversation!

I described how only recently have I felt even a fleeting confidence that I would not seriously screw up my hypothetical kid. If all children of fucked up parents aren't racked with such insecurities, well, they should be. I consider it a very healthy fear. Only now, after decades of shedding my family tics and baggage, am I confident I wouldn't be a positively horrific parent. This is what I was attempting to articulate to Allie.

"Only now do I have any confidence that if, God forbid, I were ever to have kids, that—"

"—that they would be wanted?" she cooed.