Bee in the Bonnet: Family, Ya Got’ta Love’um?

By Bernie Bates

The two strongest emotions we humans have are pure white love and the dark abyss of hate. And if you have family, you know all too well of the gray areas in between those two feelings.

We all come into this world with such fan fair and joy – then we get a smack on the ass and cry our little eyes out as we meet our families for the first time. At that moment, we have no idea that both, the love and the pain, will follow us the rest of our days. There are times in life then we will deserve a swift kick in the back pockets and there are times when another family member will need a jolt of reality.

Just like all snowflakes are different, so too, are we. Personalities vary, even between identical twins – where one of them may be a handsome and gifted writer and the other might be a life-sucking, scum bag of an alcoholic. Family dynamics, too, are as different as apples and road apples (horse poop – to you city folk). I’ve heard about families who are supportive and kind to one another. They do things like; hug, kiss, praise, comfort and say: “I love you!” We, too, did things like that in my family, but, only in between the squabbling, quarrels and the screaming of: “I hate you!” Don’t get me wrong, we still love each other to this very day, but we had our differences and opinions, like most families. We weren’t the best nor were we the worst, for example, we didn’t shoot anyone – we just aimed a little higher.

There are large clans with ten children, aunts, uncles and a sperm bank worth of cousins and yet they seem to co-exist and function as a tight nit group. Then there’s the only child household that can’t even agree on pizza topping, let alone things like; education, discipline and weather or not to let junior get a scull tattooed on his or her scull?

Now that I’ve touched upon the subject of discipline and the family unit, here are a few of my thoughts on the matter. We first go back to the swat on the ass at our birth, it didn’t really hurt us, in fact it provoked us to take our first breath of air. Later we get spanked on the bum when we’re dumb and then cuffed up side the head as addlebrained pre-adolescents. Then it comes to a disastrous stop when the government takes over and decides that teenagers have rights and that corporal punishment isn’t appropriate.

Young adults begin to think they can get away with robbery, spreading their legs and opening their uncouth mouths. Just when they need the most guidance society abandons them. Teens start to talk back to their parents, teachers are beaten up and the police are as useless as tits on a bore. Then society wonders why the rate of teen pregnancies are so high, why the mortality of teen drivers is going through the roof and: “How come our jails are overflowing?” Personally I’m surprised that any of them survive into adulthood. Let’s face the facts, at this point in their lives, teens don’t know everything, even though they may think so. Their hormones are reeking havoc with their bodies and they’re about as stable as an drunken, menopausal woman with a grudge and a telephone.

Most of us grow up and mature into useful and productive adults, who swear to not make the same mistakes our parents did. We’re determined to be friends with our children and treat them like we’d like to be treated … so how’s that working out?

Families can be trying to say the very least, but for the most part we love them despite their flaws and short comings. We somehow muddle through life and try to forgive and forget. And we must, if not for them, but to preserve our own sanity. If we let them rent space in our heads we have no one to blame but ourselves. The ones I truly feel sorry for are all those mothers out there – the heartaches, the trials and tribulations they go through. >From the pain of birth to sleepless nights and I’ve been told that the worrying never stops. Sorry Mom!


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