No, my dad isn’t Robert DeNiro, but we did have our own version of “Meet the Parents” just before my husband and I were married.
Our parents first met on the Wednesday before that Thanksgiving – just a few days before the wedding – in my home town of Richland, Washington. My husband-to-be’s parents, sister, and aunt flew into the small airport in Richland, located on the edge of town surrounded by sagebrush and sand. (The same airport my husband had first visited earlier that year. When he got off the plane and looked around, he commented, “You grew up here? You poor kid.” But it was home to me, and prettier I thought than his home town in Missouri.)
My about-to-be-in-laws drove their rental car to my parents’ house. They rang the doorbell and my father answered.
After introductions, my father asked, “What can I get you to drink? Wine? Bourbon?”
“Bourbon, please. And I’d like to taste it,” my mother-in-law-to-be said, according to my dad.
They’ve been good friends ever since.
My husband and I have been fortunate in our parents and in-laws. They were always there when we needed help. I think of my mother potty-training my son while I took a business trip, my mother-in-law nursing my daughter through the chickenpox, financial assistance that made our path easier.
The circle of life is spinning, and for the last few years our parents have needed more help than we have. My husband and I have been glad to be there for them, as they were for us. And as someday, our children will be there for us.