While I’m away, readers give the advice.
On stepping on parental toes by calling a grandchild “my baby”:
When I was 4, my little sister was diagnosed as autistic. As you might imagine, my parents were distressed with the news. Or, as my mom tells it, “I wouldn’t have freaked out so bad if the world had been ending.”
But my paternal grandfather had a way with words, and told them, “You’re scared, but you’re not alone. She’s my daughter, too.”
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Twenty years later, and my parents still tell that story, and still retreat to that memory when they’re sad or scared. It’s quite a legacy for my grandfather to leave.
Yes We Can Share
I would like to suggest a solution – or detente – to the tensions over who gets to call a newborn “my baby.” As a mom of two young children, I tend to sympathize with the new mothers. But ultimately, I think we can look to the kids for an answer. Children remind us every day with their quips, style and idiosyncrasies that they belong to no one but themselves.
On having a combative partner:
My husband and I have been married 25 years and during our first year of marriage I picked fights to keep from having to attend weddings, graduations, etc. I finally realized I wasn’t angry at my husband – I was panicked about the event and subconsciously took it out on him because he was the reason (in my head) that I was backed into an uncomfortable situation. I went to a counselor and figured out how to deal with the anxiety, and my husband is really great about giving me space to opt out if necessary!
No More Fits
Email Carolyn Hax at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax.