It can be a tough old thankless task being a devoted parent or loyal family member. You can spend your whole life raising those little ones, bouncing them up and down on your knee, taking them to the park and buying them ice-creams and sweets, showering them with gifts year after year at Christmas and on birthdays. You’ll spend time, energy and money ensuring they have a great time as you take them to theme parks and fairgrounds, teach them how to ride their bike, protect them from danger and comfort them when they hurt themselves. As they get older you’ll try to give them advice and help them with their choices in life, guiding them the best you can. You’ll have arguments with teachers, neighbours and friends in defence of your family, even when you know deep down your clan was in the wrong. And when they need you, you’ll be there. Always; without question. Then they go through the metamorphosis of puberty and things change.
When your sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews and grandchildren grow up, for some, all that time and love you put in will count for nothing. You’ll find the respect you feel is due is forfeited when you call it in. And if you’re unfortunate enough to find them hurtling along a rollercoaster of decline, your love will make you reach out to stop them; but if that descent is too steep and the decline has gathered too much pace, the best you can expect is that your arm will be ripped off. At worst, if you can’t help but cling on to save them, they will drag you into a maelstrom of pain and despair and neither one of you will come out of it good. You may get your respect due at the end, but there may be too much damage done to all parties for it to make any positive difference. It is a pretty tragic and desperately sad aspect of a fractured or dysfunctional family unit. So much so it makes me think that blood and genes make you related, but only proper respect and loyalty makes you family.