I asked a workmate if he was a religious person. He has been very helpful to me over many years in getting an understanding of the 'American' war in South East Asia from a Cambodian perspective. It is to be expected, and he is fiercely anti communist, so I refrain from calling him Comrade. I am sensitive at times. I never ask a Cambodian about their parents and where are they after the first time I did. Oh no!
I assumed he was a Buddhist and a bit religious in the ever so tolerant way of Buddhists.
No, he is a Catholic as is his wife. (in times past I may have added here that being a Catholic is almost worse than being a Muslim, but in my new phase of acceptance and tolerance, I shan't say that. In fact I don't even think it and I will not recite childhood insults about religions, maggots and frogs, no matter how much it is ingrained into me)
Why are you Catholic? His reply was that he and his wife converted from being a Buddhist so that their children could go to a local Catholic school where discipline was of a high order.
This conversation happened perhaps twenty years ago but even so I was surprised to hear that the school girl's dresses were still checked for length by them kneeling on the ground and a measurement taken with a ruler.
We spoke again of his daughter some years later and she was then an on call doctor and if she was called out from home in the middle of the night, he always drove her himself and waited if she was not going to be too long.
Now she is a surgeon with her own family and precious little time for dear old Dad who moved heaven and earth to come to Australia for his children's sake, who denied his own religion for his children, who worked a humble job to bring up his children when he was meant for better things, who went without sleep to ensure his grown child's safety on the road. This came from a close third party who knows the family.
When he was younger, my workmate had a good sense of humour and I could always have a laugh with him. Now he is a tired and sad old man. We still exchange greetings when we see each other but it is clear that he is not interested in much conversation. I cannot recall the last time I saw him smile or laugh.
Love your children, do lots for them, but don't go overboard and don't expect a lot of gratitude, or you may be disappointed.