Ten Things I Learned About My Parents in One Afternoon

My parents don’t eat lunch.

Since leaving the dairy farm and grain fields behind, lunch doesn’t involve swallowing sandwiches whole. They refer to lunch as dinner. And something simple. Such as chili. Or curried or roasted chicken.
My mom’s a great cook. Never mind grandparents. I swear she inspired the “Grandparents say, ‘Little snack before you go home,” meme, with the little tyke chowing down on a mega chocolate bar. And conversation with my dad are always humorous and entertaining – especially his one liners. True story: about a year ago, I arrived on their doorstep, completely in tears. Within five minutes he had me laughing.

Today, my husband and I joined them for lunch. Before I knew it, my husband was dressed to split wood with my dad, and mom and I were relaxing in the sunroom.

The more time I spend with my parents, the more I want to learn about them. It’s funny. As my mom and dad believe they’re getting older, I see their younger side.

Here are ten things I learned about my parents in one afternoon.

  1. My mom likes the songs “Breathe Me” by Sia, and “The Scientist” by Willie Nelson. She thinks Sia has “a nice voice,” and “nothing can replace Willie.”
  2. Dad will never eat the last of anything unless he’s forced.
  3. Dad wants to raise rabbits. Mom and dad tried to convince me the chicken I was eating was rabbit. Mom kept a straight face. Those who know mom are aware it’s nearly impossible for her to keep a straight face – and she had me almost convinced.
  4. My mom can tell what minerals a plant is lacking. Yellowing leaves? Needs iron. And my parents really like geraniums and Christmas cactus. Dad can tell when a plant needs to be re-potted (It’s when the plant doesn’t bloom). I swear, their sunroom is like a pink and purple jungle.
  5. Mom dated in school. And she was a Jehovah’s Witnesses – and the guys weren’t JW.
    • Me: “Did Baba and Gigi know?”
    • Mom: “I’m not sure.”
    • Yes, my mom was a rebel.
  6. My dad will cut wood, even though he’s wearing a neck brace for his dizziness, because he’s that stubborn.
  7. Mom still tries to hide her emotions when she talks about a funeral she went to when she was pregnant with me.
  8. My dad knows more than me when it comes to current events – and I’m a reporter.
  9. In the 1980s, when my mom bought a 10-dish set from the Arborg Coop, which included small plates, dinner plates, cups and mini plates – she wanted the extra pieces, such as the gravy boat and serving bowl – but at the time, couldn’t afford it. My Gigi really liked the set and hated paper plates, and we always used the Coop set when he and Baba came over for dinner.
  10. Mom and dad’s relationship is thanks to a mutual friend of theirs who acted as a go-between.

IMG_0308The bonus:

  1. After 42 years of marriage, my parents are very much in love. They joke like the kids I imagine they were when they met, and they care for each other like a husband and wife team.