Ask Amy: Grandparent seeks connection to baby

2014-06-04T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T11:06:33Z Ask Amy: Grandparent seeks connection to babyBy Amy Dickinson Tribune Content Agency Arizona Daily Star

DEAR AMY: Our daughter and her partner are expecting a baby this summer. My husband and I are thrilled, but I’m struggling with an issue.

Our daughter’s partner, “Candace,” is carrying the baby. We knew that having children would be other than “traditional” for them, and we accept that.

We feel tremendously fortunate that our daughter is happy and that we like her partner very much.

However, not only is Candace carrying the baby, but they are planning to give the baby Candace’s last name. I was hoping they might give the child our last name to give us some connection to our grandchild. Now I’m feeling very left out, and I’m struggling with these feelings, even though I know I need to be more mature about it. I briefly expressed my dismay to my daughter, but in the end it is their decision, and I don’t want to meddle.

How can I resolve these feelings of sadness? I so want to cherish this new little one without resentment. — Feeling Sad

DEAR SAD: Regardless of the child’s name, you do have a connection to your daughter’s baby — the baby will be your grandchild. That’s a solid gold connection.

If your daughter was in a very traditional heterosexual marriage, the child would bear the husband’s last name. I understand that because your daughter isn’t the pregnant partner, you may have no DNA connection to the child, but the fact is that this child will be hers and by extension also yours.

Families are made up of a tremendous variety of connections. An adopted child wouldn’t share your DNA (or perhaps your name) but that child would be a “real” member of your family — and you would love that child, just as you will love this child. Relax; it will happen.

DEAR AMY: My wife has a twin brother. She also has a sister who is four years older. Remarkably, the older sister shares the same birthday as the twins.

The twins are turning 50 this year. I want to throw a party, but here is the difficulty: This is a landmark birthday for my wife (and her twin), but not necessarily for their sister.

I think my wife deserves to be the focus of attention on her 50th, yet it is important that her family be there. How should I handle the awkward aspect of focusing the party on her when her siblings are there and share the birthday? Is it mandatory that it be a joint party?Happy Husband

DEAR HUSBAND: You should feel comfortable hosting the party in your wife’s honor. Invite her siblings and make sure to highlight this remarkable occurrence when you welcome your guests and toast your wife. Ask the siblings to stand and acknowledge and toast them.

Some family members or other guests might bring gifts for all three — and you should do nothing to suppress this and do everything possible to make all of your guests feel included. Your wife has been at least partially sharing this day for her entire life; presumably she is used to it.

DEAR AMY: Your reply to “Happy Father,” in which you questioned his definition of “sexually pure,” was condescending. It was the written equivalent of an eye roll.

It made you seem less than sincere. Even the high school and college age kids who work for me know exactly what “sexually pure” means, though some of them also roll their eyes at the term.

What I find remarkable, though, is how many of these kids intend to remain sexually pure until marriage, given the constant barrage from all quarters as to how such a thing is neither desirable nor possible.

It’s heartening to see them behaving in a way that is both countercultural and emotionally healthy. You should grant the term “sexually pure” a little more respect. A lot more, actually. — Bradley

DEAR BRADLEY: I always applaud people making healthy choices. In terms of granting the terminology “sexually pure” more respect? No, I don’t think I will. I would consider throwing some respect its way if this term were equally applied to boys (as well as girls), but it never is.

Contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@tribune.com

Follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson’s memoir, “The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them” (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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