My 12-year-old cousin (more like a niece though), called me last night sobbing. She's upset, and hormonal, and her parents are fuckwads. She had just gotten back from her dad's, who she doesn't see very often because he's not interested in the kids he's been ignoring for years (like volunteering to go back to Iraq 4 times so he didn't have to deal with his wife or kids). My aunt, her mom, is just fucked. Once she and my uncle split up, she was bringing every tom dick and harry over to the house WITH HER KIDS IN IT until she settled on her boyfriend (who is creepy and ugly and greasy). I guess last night she told the babysitter that she didn't want to live with her mom anymore because she was always drunk, the house was always covered in beer cans, no one pays any attention to her, and she doesn't like the boyfriend. I told her she could come up to visit me anytime, and my mom (her aunt) even offered to buy her a plane ticket. (My mom is getting soft in her old age and good at being nice to children. I feel cheated.)
It just really burns my ass that all of my aunts and uncles (and my mom with me, not with my much young sibs) are such fucking shit at being parents. I feel so angry, because at least at one point in the majority of my cousins' lives, I was acting as a caretaker. I was a kid, and I was doing a better fucking job. It almost feels like someone is undoing my hard work. Fuck, they are shitting on what little good I did for those kids.
I'm just going to end up being the kid collector. It's a role that I'm happy to play, making sure these kids know that somebody fucking loves them. But it pisses me off that this is what I have to do, and what I've always done.