Driving my wife to work today because the younger son needed her car in the wake of a flat on his, I was chatting idly about what a good job I thought she had done in rearing our three children. It is difficult to say precisely what I meant -- the topic is so amorphous -- but I meant it. I feel extremely lucky not just to love my kids but also to like them.
From there, I mentioned a couple of friends who were having difficulties with adult children who could not seem to grow up ... who had mental or drug problems and were still living in a child's self-centric world that demanded without reference to the needs of others ... notably their parents.
My wife listened and then, because a couple of her sisters had each lost a son to an early death, she remarked evenly, "At least the still have their kids. My sisters would do anything to have theirs back."
My wife wasn't being snarky about it ... just mentioning the fact.