Vampires and werewolves may be frightful, but they lack the gnawing existential elan of the terrors of parenthood.
Besides all the anxieties about perils which might afflict your offspring, there are more subtle chills — namely the recurring fits of angst over whether the example you’ve tried to set or lessons you’ve tried to impart have found any purchase within the child’s psyche.
The feeling peaks during the kid’s adolescent years, with their surly, eye-rolling onslaught of oppositional behaviors and acts of pointless rebellion. It’s a script as old as time and countless words have been expended to explain how expected and unremarkable these behaviors are, and how they’re part and parcel of the maturation process, but that received wisdom does do a lot good as the process unfolds and shitty teenitude is in full flower.
“Where did I go wrong?” you wonder. “Did they pick up anything we’d tried to lay down for them over the years?”
…and then the kid goes and sneaks a kitten into the house, and you realize that all your behavior modeling wasn’t just pissing into the wind.
Like mother, like daughter.