You see them every-bloody-where, but they’re most prominent on the rear windscreens of people-movers and 4WDs. They depict happy families: dad, mum, eldest child, second child, sometimes third and even fourth child, dog, cat, goldfish: the works. All smiling faces.
I did a bit of a search on the web, but was unable (not totally unexpected) to find the sticker that describes my family. They don’t seem to have drawings for a very sad father or a grieving mum, not to mention the drawing of a plaque in the cemetery where the eldest daughter is buried. That does not sell too well, I suppose. So I guess we’re not within their targeted market segment, and somehow that feels kind of a relief. Honestly, it is such a banal concept, but of course everybody seems to fall for it.
If I were to make an accurate drawing of our family, I’d go for something this: try and picture a taciturn, sad dad who is regularly woken up too early and sits down to write in an effort to stop himself from crying his heart out; a desolate mum who chooses to punish herself at the gym so she does not have to think too hard; two boys who love each other but fight each other all the time because the gentle judge who would sort out things between them two is no longer there; these twin boys look indeed quite happy and healthy. Anyone who has seen them in action will say so, but I bet inside their minds they would rather be forgetting what happened to them and their sister; I bet they both see the future (the rest of their lives) in a totally different way to that their two parents see the rest of their lifetimes. One can foresee some serious conflicts down the path of years to come.
I’m quite certain such a figurative drawing is almost impossible for anyone to imagine. Too dreadful. Not nice. But what is probably worse, for some the reality such an imaginary drawing would represent appears to be almost unbearable to look at or to come anywhere near to.