Yeah, so funny story.
My mother, when drunk (and jovial) is fond of saying "I never wanted kids but you two turned out okay." When drunk (and not jovial) she omits everything after "kids."
My father, for his part, has only ever offered me one piece of advice: "never get married." This advice was generally proffered while drunk, and usually after my mother had done something charming such as threatening to murder the dogs or hiding the cars in other people's driveways.
Childhood was much easier for me when I minimized my footprint. I learned to not involve my parents in things as much as possible. I was latchkey from first grade and generally nobody got home until 7 or so. I started cooking for me and my sister in 4th or 5th grade. I got the impression that marriage is impossible, kids are a total drag, and only suckers have families because they drain away your life force and leave you bitter and worn out.
Then I had a kid.
So now I vacillate between whether I was that much of a pain in the ass or whether they just sucked that hard at parenting. 'cuz this kid thing? It's a fuckin' snap. And holy shit is it fun. And had I known that going in, I woulda had one fifteen fuckin' years ago. So either I was a terrible kid (equals "I'm a terrible person") or my parents were terrible parents (equals "are terrible people") and no matter how I look at it, there's no amount of insight that makes any of this any better.
In fact, I've found that since having a kid, I talk to my parents less. Framing myself as "son" while also being "dad" puts me in an extremely uncomfortable juxtaposition that makes my mind scream. 'cuz on the one hand, hot bag'o'broken glass. On the other hand, daughter who wants to read the motorcycle fuel injection manual before bedtime again. And I'll take Door #2, please.
So I wouldn't ask 'em a damn thing. Not a damn thing. 'cuz I honestly don't wanna know. More than that, I'm much happier not even thinking about it.
Tomorrow's my mom's birthday. So, there's that.