DEAR ABBY: I have been raising my daughter’s first child. “Joey” is 10, and he has been living with my husband and me full time for four years. I love him very much and enjoy being his “mom,” but I’m not good at helping him with homework. My daughter doesn’t have time for him. She has two other kids with a different dad. The stepdad has no desire to be a dad to Joey.
I am Joey’s everything. My life revolves around him. But, Abby, at 52, I feel I have earned the right to do as I want at this time in my life. I feel I would be punishing Joey if I gave him back to his mom to raise. His biological father is not in his life, although the paternal grandparents are in contact with him. Your thoughts on this situation? — LIKE A MOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR LIKE A MOM: Gladly. When Joey is 18, you will be 60. That is not over the hill. Please do not give up on your grandson at this point. As you stated, you are “everything” to him, and in this case, it is literally true. Joey’s paternal grandparents did a terrible job raising their irresponsible son. Would you really consider turning Joey over to them to mess up? Stay the course!
DEAR ABBY: My husband has cerebral palsy. He can talk, but his speech is slightly slurred. He can walk, but he’s unsteady on his feet.
We love to go out and have a few drinks, but the issue is that people think he is intoxicated. We have been thrown out of places. We were almost thrown out of a ride-share service until I told the driver he has a disability. We were at a concert going up the steps (I was holding beers), and everyone stared at him thinking he was drunk. Do you have any advice (short of putting up a sign that he is disabled)? — SOCIAL SPOUSE
DEAR SPOUSE: Your husband should not have to display a sign. When you go to a bar or a restaurant, inform the manager or the bartender as soon as you enter that your husband has a disability that affects his balance. While it won’t work in large crowds such as at a concert, it should save you and your husband from any misunderstandings in smaller venues.
DEAR ABBY: One of the last times we hung out, a friend made a comment about my size. She said, “I shouldn’t complain about my weight gain. I’m smaller than YOU.” It was really rude. I thought about that comment and how to approach it for a week, and when I saw her next, I asked her to not bring up my size when she complains about hers. Instead of apologizing, she spent 15 minutes justifying what she said. But there was no real justification. Since then, I have avoided her. She keeps reaching out and asking to spend time with me, but at this point, I don’t feel I should. What would you do? — OFFENDED IN HAWAII
DEAR OFFENDED: I would tell her no, and I would tell her in no uncertain terms exactly why.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.