The Burden of Parenthood, Part I

“Children begin by loving their parents; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.” 
– Oscar Wilde

I’ve often read the stories of parents being disowned by their children. I’ve been appalled by the treatment that some suffer at the hands of their own flesh and blood. I’ve thought to myself, “What kind of child would do that to their own parents? What child could completely go against someone who loves them with such abandon it truly justifies the use of the word unconditional?”

I’m ashamed to say that I have done so, countless times.

Before we go any further, one must understand this. When I say mistreatment, there is a line which must be drawn. The logical assumption here is that I’ve beaten my parents and subjected them to unimaginable horrors and abuse. The fault there would be mine, for leading with such a sensational statement.

It’s all for the views that you claim you don’t want, anyway. So let’s chalk it up to freedom of press and move on to the juicy bits.

*Sigh* Even on such a topic you continue to troll. Ah well, it is to be expected. Onwards, I suppose.

You may or may not have done the same things growing up, and maybe you’re at fault, maybe you’re not. I’m not saying that I’ve abused my parents physically. I’ve done no such thing. What I have done, unknowingly, is to hurt them. Emotionally. Time and time again.

From the moment we’re born, most of us anyway, we are subject to a most extraordinary form of love. Our parents provide support, both the metaphorical and the literal kind, without expecting anything back from us other than the occasional toothless smile, and maybe a seemingly unintentional hug. The kind of thing that people video and upload to YouTube garnering millions of views, entitled ‘Baby does cutest thing EVERRRR!’ leading to countless reviews and shares on FaceBook…

You get the idea.

The point is, they do this without ever expecting anything in return. They’re there for us, from the moment we’re born, to the first time we attempt to walk to the first time we succeed. From our first words to our first day of college and every misspelt word in between. No matter what, we can count on them. They’re our role models, our emotional anchor. The first person waiting for us when we get home from the stresses of our daily life, with a meal and a smile. Yes, they’re the original stay-at-home wives ready with a hot meal.

They sacrifice for us, time and time again. They do so without a second thought. The thought of any form of remuneration never even crosses their mind. They would give anything for us, and do on numerous occasions.I’ve seen my parents sacrifice their personal wants over and over again so that my sister and I could have some small trinket or the other.

I’m not saying they deserve to be lauded (though they do), I’m saying they don’t want the recognition. They don’t need it. Many a times I’ve asked, what do you want for Mother’s/Father’s day?” And the only replies I ever got were, “Study hard, work hard, and live a comfortable life.” Or maybe “I want you to be happy and satisfied with the way you are going. If you can tell me that, that’s enough for me.” And even occassionally, “Well, I really liked that Ferrari we saw last week in the showroom, so…”

So why?

What are these things that many of us have done to our parents unknowingly? I read this story a couple of days ago, called the Paper Menagerie. It really got to me. These are the kinds of hurts we cause our parents that no one writes feature articles on. You never see a Channel NewsAsia newsflash on a subject such as this. Yet this is the kind of thing that most of us do, which causes our mothers and fathers unimaginable pain. Yet they hide it.

Why?

Where does it all go wrong? Why are we so unappreciative? Why is it some of us can become such total douches to our parents, while others come to realise the true importance of the people who (essentially) made us who we are?

Find out, after the break! 

… No, really, I’m still putting together the next post so this is the (CLIFFHANGER!) ending of this particular blog post.

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