“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Nov 28, 2013
EAR AMY: I am very fortunate. I have two excellent adult daughters, perfect sons-in-law and gifted and sweet grandchildren. They are successful and wonderful, and I could not be more proud.

Here’s the problem. My daughters live less than a mile from each other; one family followed the other to a distant state so they could raise their children together. However, both of them live 2,300 miles from me. They are living their lives well. So am I. I have a demanding professional job, and at 63 I have several years to go before I retire.

That said, I miss them terribly. It’s too expensive for all of them (seven in all) to travel to where I am, so my husband and I travel there once a year for a week. The visits are wonderful, but the months in between are painful.

I try to stay in touch with my daughters — calling and texting a couple times a week, sending books for them and for the grandchildren, sending newspaper articles — but they don’t reciprocate. They never mention the newspaper articles, rarely mention the books or other gifts, and if they call or text me once a week I’m lucky. The calls are always good and loving. There’s just not much contact from them, and that hurts my feelings. I have mentioned it a couple of times, but they always get annoyed when I do, so I stopped asking.

Is this typical of the relationship between parents and their adult offspring these days? Should I just count my blessings and shut my mouth?-- Missing Out Mom

DEAR MISSING OUT: I shared this issue with my own panel of life advisers/family members. Every single parent confessed to a similar frustration. So it’s not just you.

I also remember a time when I was younger, living a world away and emotionally engaged elsewhere — and I regret that it wasn’t until I was entering middle age where I felt my attachment to my family of birth intensify and deepen, and I started to give back. Fortunately my mother was there for me when I (emotionally) returned.

Remember that your daughters have each other close by for daily familial connection and support. You should do less (because doing more makes you feel so unappreciated). Spread out your contact to being in touch with the grandkids directly through postcards, etc. See if connecting with your daughters on Facebook is satisfying for you. Also, emotionally engage more fully in your local life. If you do less, your daughters may do more.

DEAR AMY: I am 15 years old and have a twin brother. We have an older sister who moved to New York last year. She has her own apartment. When our older brother was 15, he flew to visit my sister in D.C. by himself.

Our parents promised us a trip by ourselves at that age, but now that we are 15, they say they don’t want us going. Our sister is old enough to watch after us and we would be absolutely safe there. We are even willing to pay for our plane fare. How can we persuade our parents to let us go to New York?-- Frustrated

DEAR FRUSTRATED: Your sister — the one who will be hosting you — is the person who can (and should) advocate for you. Your folks may have a negative idea about New York City and your sister’s ability to supervise two of you (vs. one, when your brother visited).

If your sister reassures them and they still don’t want you to go, you’ll have to assume that they aren’t yet confident enough in you. Your visit may need to wait another year.

DEAR AMY:“Tight Tenant” fretted about her landlord cashing her rent check promptly. She should pay with a money order. You can get these for a small (or no) fee.-- Regular Reader

DEAR READER: If “Tight Tenant” did this, then she would fret about her landlord receiving the payment safely. I think she needs to learn how to budget.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#2 Nov 28, 2013
L1 . Give me a break. they call or text once a week and you are complaining that they don't discuss the articles and books you have sent?

Do you have any idea if the articles interest them? Are they based o subjects you discuss when you do see them yearly?

I am very sure the group here will come up with all sorts of possibilities about why they don't respond.

Sorry lady, First World Problems. They aren't part of your book club.

L2 More First World Problems. Ad I sent a 13 year old on a plane by herself overseas.

L3 Just wait. Tomorrow's rehash will be turkeys!

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#3 Nov 28, 2013
My sister and I flew to Colorado to visit family by ourselves. We were 9. We got to see the cockpit.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#4 Nov 28, 2013
1: No reason they can't visit mom at least once a year--why does it have to be together? One family can do it on their time, the other another.

I'm kinda on both sides here. I get mom's side (really-visit your freaking mom if only once) but also mom needs to let go some. I would hate my kids never/rarely seeing their grandparents...

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#5 Nov 28, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
I would hate my kids never/rarely seeing their grandparents...
I am having trouble reconciling this with your post about your mom on today's Abby
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#6 Nov 28, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
I am having trouble reconciling this with your post about your mom on today's Abby
I don't want to speak for PEllen; I'm sure she can do that herself. However, I got the impression the mom in letter 3 of Abby is a rather "toxic" personality and I probably would want to avoid her drama and her demands about who I could see or have at my house. So perhaps PEllen here is making reference to "normal" moms and is thinking "toxic" mom in the Abby column. Ok, now I guess I'd better go back to Abby and comment there. ;-)
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#7 Nov 28, 2013
Whoops! Ok, I see I switched names on my last post. I was responding to PEllen's remark to Cheluzal. I hope this clears up any misunderstanding. I realized what I'd done just as I clicked on Post comment and it was too late to change it. Sorry.:-/

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#8 Nov 28, 2013
PEllen wrote:
Do you have any idea if the articles interest them? Are they based o subjects you discuss when you do see them yearly?
I am very sure the group here will come up with all sorts of possibilities about why they don't respond.
I often find articles that amuse me and then forward it to people who I think would also find them interesting. Sometimes I get a comment about the article in response. Sometimes I don't. I don't keep score. The same happens in reverse. I don't feel any compulsion to send a response unless I have something to say. This woman seems to think her every message needs a response.

Additionally, maybe its me, but I feel like this feeling is more prevalent among parents than kids. When I was in college, 8 hours from home, I saw my parents at Xmas time. Thanksgiving was not a guarantee. That's Florida-Florida Stat weekend. Damn sure not going home when that game is in town. Seeing my parents once or twice a year was no big deal. This was before cell phones, when long distance calls actually cost money, so I was certainly not calling anywhere near daily. Once a week, maybe.

Even after leaving college, I did not see them often. I see them more now that I have kids. They come for the kids birthdays.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#9 Nov 28, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
1: No reason they can't visit mom at least once a year--why does it have to be together? One family can do it on their time, the other another.
I'm kinda on both sides here. I get mom's side (really-visit your freaking mom if only once) but also mom needs to let go some. I would hate my kids never/rarely seeing their grandparents...
I'll take that question. Money. I can go see my parents for the low cost of a half tank of gas. Split that up among 4 of us and 2 dogs, per person/dog, its not an expensive trip. 2300 miles away? That's over 30 hours of driving(each way) and a whole lot of gas, so likely a plane trip would be more convenient and cost effective. A few hundred $$ per person? Money to for boarding the dogs? Family might not be able to afford that and another vacation. I would certainly not want to go to see my folks every single year if it meant I could not go on any other vacations. I would definitely go less frequently, and if they were already coming to see me for a week every year, that would give me my fill and I'd feel less compelled to go see them.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#10 Nov 28, 2013
cheluzal wrote:
1: No reason they can't visit mom at least once a year--why does it have to be together? One family can do it on their time, the other another.
I'm kinda on both sides here. I get mom's side (really-visit your freaking mom if only once) but also mom needs to let go some. I would hate my kids never/rarely seeing their grandparents...
Oh, as far as rarely ever seeing grandparents. The last time I visited was in 1987( my parents are from another country). Since that time, I saw my paternal grandparents when they came for a visit in the late 90's. Maternal grandmother, I saw her once when all her kids flew her here for a milestone birthday in the 2000's.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#11 Nov 28, 2013
PEllen wrote:
<quoted text>
I am having trouble reconciling this with your post about your mom on today's Abby
I think its quite clear. She'd go to dad's for the holiday and not allow mom to control/manipulate her. She didn't say she'd cut mom out of her life. Mom would still see the kids at other times.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#12 Nov 30, 2013
My parents are still married and live together.
And as psycho as she can be to me, I would not cut her out of my kid's lives if at all possible.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#13 Nov 30, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
My sister and I flew to Colorado to visit family by ourselves. We were 9. We got to see the cockpit.
Your family were hoping you'd open a door and fall out. Too bad for them. Not to mention the rest of the planet.

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