Ask Auntie Linda, Straight Talk from a Straight Shooter


Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda,  I have two girls, age seven and nine.  Their father and I divorced amicably six years ago when he realized he was gay after several years of marriage and could no longer live the lie.  He moved a couple of hours away and has the children summers and for the Thanksgiving holiday week.  He and his partner share a home where the girls visit frequently.  We are still close and he and his partner always spend Christmases with us so we can all celebrate together.  I remarried four years ago and we all consider ourselves family.  My parents, strict Christians, are livid and believe homosexuals are doomed to go to Hell.  They refuse to have anything to do with Scott and Joey, his partner.  My parents rant against Scott, saying he is a bad influence and the children shouldn’t be around him.  I invited my parents to Christmas with the provision that they not talk or act in a way that would upset our family Christmas.  They are insisting that the children “know the truth.”  How do we handle this?  We have never openly discussed homosexuality. One Big Family

Dear One Big Family, Children need love not contention.  I congratulate you on keeping the girls best interests at heart.  It is your business how you raise your children.  We need to treasure our families, not draw lines.  I am sure it was obvious to the children a long time ago “who loves who.”  You parents are entitled to their beliefs, but don’t need to impose them on others.  We don’t get to decide who and how others love.  Auntie Linda


Dear Auntie Linda,  Steve and I have been friends more than thirty years since we went to first grade together.  He married Helen and we all remained good friends.  Though I dated numerous women over the years, I never settled down.  Last year, when Steve found out he was dying of cancer, he asked me to look after Helen since she’d need help to run their large cattle operation.  Helen is a wonderful woman.  I love her and would like to marry her except for the fact that  I’ve always wanted children of my own.  Helen had a hysterectomy after her second boy was born.  The kids are four and two.  I love the boys dearly, but don’t know if I could ever be satisfied not having my own child.  Helen knows how I feel and would be happy to adopt.  Would I be wrong to go into a marriage if I am not sure?  Hopeful but Worried

Dear Hopeful, Nobody is assured of happiness, even in an apparently perfect situation.  You might marry someone else and still not have children.  If you marry this woman you already love, you will have two, and there is always the chance to adopt.  A baby is just a baby, no matter where it comes from.  Auntie Linda

Ask Auntie Linda, Excellent Advice for the Heartsick.

hat 2

Dear Auntie Linda, A man connected to my husband’s family asked us to keep their two-year-old while his pregnant wife was in the hospital, delivering a premature baby. Reluctantly, we agreed, since he said he couldn’t find anyone else.  We were leery of getting involved since the couple was known to have a shady history, but felt we had no choice since the young man was desperate. The child was an angel and we actually enjoyed having him in our home.  Unfortunately, the wife delivered a still-born infant.  Upon discharge, they came by asking us if we’d like to have the little boy forever.  They just weren’t ready for kids.  We were unprepared and asked for a while to think about it.  After a couple of days, they came back over, asking again to take the boy in our home.  We would love to have the child, but are concerned that they will come back for him later when they’ve reconsidered, allowing us time to fall hopelessly in love with him.  We want the child but don’t want our hearts broken.  We aren’t wealthy people.  Legal fees would be a hardship, but would like to try to adopt.  What do we do?  It’s not likely things will go well for this little guy with parents who want to give him away.  Love the baby

Dear Love, I wouldn’t get involved in this situation without legal custody of the child.  You and the child are likely to be involved in a game of tug of war or possibly extortion.  I agree, the situation looks bleak for the child.  Ask the parents to allow you to adopt and surrender their parental rights before you go any further.  If you suspect abuse or neglect, notify Child Protection.  You can easily get in over your head and the child might be an emotional hostage.  Auntie Linda


Dear Auntie Linda, My father-in-law, Ben, is a jerk. He frequently hit my husband during his childhood.  He drinks heavily and smokes in the house.  My mother-in-law, Mavis, is a very nice lady and loves our children dearly.  She has asked that the children, aged three, six, and ten be allowed to stay overnight with her and Ben.  My children have spent the night with my parents at time or two, but we don’t have concerns about discipline, smoking or following the rules at their house.  We just can’t take a chance of having the kids around Ben and don’t want the kids in a smoking home.  How can we be fair to Mavis and protect the children?  Mama

Dear Mama, Your responsibility is to your children.  Tell Mavis that you aren’t comfortable having the kids stay overnight in a smoking home.  That alone is enough reason.  If Masie wants time with them, she can come see them at home or take them to the park.  You are the parent.  Stick with your guns.  Auntie Linda


Email your problems to ask Auntie Linda

Aunt Mama Ellen and the Twins

imageMy friend Ellen planned to adopt her sister’s newborn due about the same time as her own.  She was her sister’s coach and put the newborn baby girl to her own breast at its birth, taking it home with her the next day.  Her sister, the birth mother went back to college, missing only one day of class. Seven days later Aunt/Mama Ellen was sitting Continue reading