A few days after Thanksgiving, I sat in the booth of a Mexican restaurant with my parents. The Geriatric Poodle had just died, and I was feeling low. My folks sat next to each other across from me, joking yet again that the reason they got married was because my dad needed a roommate.
For some reason, I looked at them and asked if they were disappointed that they don't have grandkids. After all, my brother Poochie and I are both complete underachievers in the procreation department.
I was surprised and delighted by the response I received.
"Oh, God no," my dad said. "All the people we know who have grandchildren got really boring!"
Of course, this was followed with a "if-happens-we'd-be-delighted" caveat, and the reminder that me and Poochie excluded, my dad doesn't even like kids. It all made me laugh.
The truth of the matter, though, is that my parents are incredibly interesting people. Not in a "hosting a salon and drinking port and talking about The New Yorker" sort of way. No, they are truly interesting in that they are always learning and trying new stuff.
My mom is the reason why I held an entire table of friends captive - and silent - with an off-hand comment about the lovely quilt on my bed. They were shocked and delighted to hear that my mom made the quilt. She's an incredible quilter - and this is a fairly recent hobby.
For a birthday that ends in a zero, my dad decided that he wanted to become a pilot. He takes such joy in flying. And on Monday? He received his instrument rating.
Are my folks cool or what?
It occurred to me that in addition to winning the parental lottery, I have also won the role model lottery. It was always a given that you volunteer in the community. It was always a given that you be a reader and a listener. And, I'm realizing, it's a given that you keep growing and stretching and exploring.
And for that? I'm thankful. Even if my dad never wanted kids in the first place.