Dear Annie: Should Dad get to go to graduation?
Dear Annie: My 17-year-old son will be graduating soon, and the question is: Does Dad get invited? My son’s father moved back to the area in the past year, but they have had contact only about three times, mostly because my son does not answer his dad’s texts or calls.
My ex had moved away in a hurry after he was caught stealing from his only friend and roommate. Once he left town, he was also caught stealing from his own father and stepmother.
I used to hide these indiscretions from my child, but now that he is older, I’ve had to be truthful with him, especially when I was recently concerned that his father might try to come get him from school without permission. Because his dad has mental illness diagnoses, people do not press charges or he somehow manages to get himself out of sticky situations. I’m not even really sure what’s going on with him, as I have stopped concerning myself with his many issues.
So, with graduation around the corner and a finite number of tickets — only five — I would rather have my mom and my brother’s family of three use the tickets, as they have all been the supportive people in my son’s life. Is there an obligation to Dad? — Proud Momma
Dear Proud: There a few milestones large enough for us to see when we zoom way out from our own lives and look at the bigger picture — weddings, births, funerals and graduations chief among them. This is a big deal for your son. It is his day. I would ask your son his thoughts on whether he wants his dad there. As long as there’s no risk of his dad’s disrupting the celebration, I would lean toward allowing him to come if your son wishes.
Having your mother and brother there (along with one other member of his family) would be great and helpful, too. The more support for your son the better. If your ex comes to the ceremony, you need not invite him to celebrate afterward if you would be uncomfortable with it or feel it might be too much. A hug and a thank-you would suffice.
Dear Annie: The recent letter you received from “Finally Sleeping,” about the difficulties of fibromyalgia, has saved my body. Within a period of two years, I had three back operations that had to be performed by a neurosurgeon. Because of spinal cord issues, I suffer from permanent nerve damage and developed neuropathy and a condition called complex regional pain syndrome. Our mattress, which is a Tempur-Pedic, can be very cold, and every morning when I would wake up, I felt as if a truck had run over me. It would take at least an hour for my body to adjust. Thanks to “Finally Sleeping,” my problem was solved: I got a heated mattress pad. I figured that if it helps her to sleep, it might help me feel better in the morning. And it has changed my world. So kudos and many thanks to “Finally Sleeping”! — Mornings Are Better in PA
Dear Mornings: I print readers’ stories and solutions in this column with the hope that they help at least one person out there, and you’re living proof. That is wonderful. Thank you for sharing, and keep sleeping soundly.
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