I have seen the future, and it's not pretty.
I went out to lunch today with my parents. I love my Mom and Dad, and they are great people. They adore The Boys, and the kids jump at any chance they get to see them. Everything's great on that part.
The horrible part is anytime my Dad starts to try and talk about anything, it just takes forever. He spends 15 minutes looking for a point and another 15 trying to get there. If you don';t know the general context of what he's talking about it's easy to get lost, as he tends to go off on tangents.
Here's an example:
Dad: "Hey son, did you hear about those hostages being freed?"
Me: "Kinda, Dad - how did they pull it off?"
Dad: "Well, they infiltrated this rebel group and ordered the hostages to meet a yellow helicopter. I don't know why it was yellow - I used to have a yellow car once, you know. '68 Charger - it was great."
Me: "And then what happened?"
Dad: "Well, we sold the car after your older brother was born."
Me: "No Dad - what happened to the hostages, the ones in the yellow helicopter?"
Dad: "How the hell should I know? I only caught it on CNN this morning."
Try dealing with that over your salad with low-fat dressing.
I wonder if my kids have the same frustration when talking to me. Does The Boy look up at me and think I'm an idiot for not understanding a simple reference to some Educational morning show he watches? (So what if there's a Super-Hero who has the power to Spell? He can sit right beside Aquaman in the only-need-you-if-we-go-to-the-library-or-ocean corner.) I'm wondering if he already thinks he's smarter than me. The last rumor I want on the school playground is that I'm an idiot.
But chatting with my Dad is great - if you've got the time. And maybe a map of where the hell the conversation's going.