I think maybe it is helpful that we are relatively old parents and that I have gone through an evolution myself with regard to how I value the company of other people. In my early 20s for example I really did not like family get-togethers. I was always focused on how the other members of my family talked about “boring things” and all their little faults (imagined or otherwise). As I grow older I have begun to really look for what we share and what I appreciate in various family members, instead of focusing on what sets us apart. It just works better. I don’t try to sweep big differences under the rug, but I don’t give them too much power either – e.g. political differences.
I believe that lesson at least can help me if my son doesn’t choose a “smart” career or makes some other lifestyle choice later on that really upsets me.
But time will have to put that belief (and promise to myself) to the test.