Today one of our adult sons needed a ride to the hospital to get stitches. It was the same son who on Saturday night had proclaimed that we never do anything to support him. I told him that I would rearrange my morning to take him (since he had gotten permission to leave work and punched out before he found out if he had a ride). I told him that it would be hard for me to do because I knew that next week it wouldn't count for anything and that he would still report that we were the parents who don't do anything.
That must have sunk in because by the time I got to his work the first thing he said was, "Thank you for rearranging your morning to take me." I reiterated that it was hard to help him when it never counted and he said, "I know that you and Dad do lots to help me." And I pointed out that it never mattered when he was mad -- that he still reported that we were unsupported.
I took him and later picked him up and got him pain killers. While waiting for the prescription to be filled, I drove through a drive through to pick him up some lunch as I knew he had nothing to eat with him. I told him, smiling, "If I'm not going to do anything for you I might as well not do anything in a big way."
We actually had a decent conversation about how we would be much more inclined to be part of his life if we could be part of it most of the time -- instead of outsiders who were glared at for intruding.... until he was in crisis and needed help. I let him know that we were actually pretty good at helping make plans, budget money, etc.
It all sunk in. It was a nice conversation. He was grateful. We had 20 nice minutes. They were for me. I enjoyed them. Tomorrow he won't remember them and they won't count for anything. But they were nice minutes.