Scared sky­diver’s mom doesn’t get to call shots

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - — Scared Mom — Anony­mous is Write to Carolyn — whose col­umn ap­pears on Sun­days, Wed­nes­days and Fri­days — at tellme@wash­post.com.

You don’t get to tell other adults how to live their lives. You don’t even get to tell other adults how not to throw their lives out of an air­plane.

Not even adults who have chil­dren, and not even if you’re the par­ent of the adult in ques­tion.

It is sim­ply not your busi­ness. The showi­ness of the risk in­volved with your daugh­ter’s hobby of choice does not change this fun­da­men­tal truth.

You don’t have to like this, ei­ther, or think it’s smart, or re­spon­si­ble, or even moral. All that’s re­quired is to rec­og­nize adult au­ton­omy is a com­plete an­swer unto it­self. Un­less you want your daugh­ter up in your busi­ness and bills and health choices and hobby se­lec­tions, you must ac­cept there’s no place for you in hers.

You can, how­ever, tell her you’re scared, be­cause that’s about you.

You can tell her you’re dis­ap­pointed in her de­ci­sion to keep adding this risk to her life know­ing it could trau­ma­tize her kids, since that’s your opin­ion and there­fore about you. I would cau­tion against this, though, as a poor use of your emo­tional cap­i­tal: Given that she’s (pre­sum­ably) go­ing to ig­nore you and sky­dive any­way, voic­ing your opin­ion would strain your re­la­tion­ship with her for zero prac­ti­cal gain.

You can also tell her you would like to talk about any ar­range­ments she has made for the chil­dren in the event of her death — specif­i­cally whether these plans in­volve you in any way. That your busi­ness, per­haps (over)due to be dis­cussed.

Dear Carolyn: Is it morally jus­ti­fied, on prin­ci­ple, for those who in­vite adults to wed­dings to ex­clude chil­dren, un­be­knownst to their solid char­ac­ter and re­spon­si­ble ac­tions? My child is an an­gel and would be a great part of any wed­ding pro­ces­sion.

Not invit­ing your child to a wed­ding is im­moral. You ba­si­cally just said that.

To an­swer the ques­tion you asked, yes, it is morally jus­ti­fied for hosts to throw a party just for adults.

To an­swer the ques­tion you didn’t ask, no, your an­gel will not re­main an­gelic if you trans­fer to her any of the sense of en­ti­tle­ment you just put on dis­play.

It’s fine to be be­sot­ted with your child. It is not fine to be­lieve you can hold the rest of the world ac­count­able for not be­ing as be­sot­ted with your child as you think it should be. Please, please. Just stop.

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