Grandpa thinks boys are too close

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

My daugh­ter is sin­gle and rais­ing two sons. Her hus­band died in an au­to­mo­bile ac­ci­dent four years ago. I am wor­ried about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween her sons, “Steven,” 16, and “Fred­er­ick,” 10. I think they are too close and too af­fec­tion­ate with each other. Steven is very pro­tec­tive of Fred­er­ick, and Fred­er­ick wor­ships his big brother. When I visit them or they come to my house, they cling to each other. They are con­stantly hug­ging and even kiss­ing, which I hon­estly find a bit dis­gust­ing.

Some­times they watch TV to­gether cud­dled up on the sofa. I have even seen Fred­er­ick sleep­ing with his head in Steven’s lap. My daugh­ter men­tioned that some­times Fred­er­ick sleeps in his brother’s bed when she works third shift. I once tried to tell them they are too af­fec­tion­ate and need to cut it out. They both just laughed and said they love each other.

I don’t think there is any­thing sex­ual go­ing on be­tween them, but I think that once Fred­er­ick reaches pu­berty, it could very well hap­pen. I dis­cussed it with my daugh­ter, and she said she sees noth­ing wrong and I am just be­ing old-fash­ioned. She said kids are a lot more open these days. She said that they turned to each other when their dad died and that Fred­er­ick sees his big brother as a fa­ther fig­ure.

I can un­der­stand that, but am I wrong to be dis­gusted by their be­hav­ior?

Your daugh­ter is fine with her sons’ dy­nam­ics, and that’s enough. You have to trust the job you did as a par­ent in teach­ing her good judg­ment — that if some­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate were go­ing on be­tween her sons, she would stop it. Steven must be a ma­ture and car­ing per­son to take his lit­tle brother un­der his wing as he has. Of that you should be proud.

On what planet does “Dis­cour­aged in KY” live to think that fat peo­ple do not get rude things said to them? I’ve been over­weight most of my life. All through my child­hood, com­ments were made — not by friends or strangers but by rel­a­tives and by my mother. None of those peo­ple hes­i­tated to ex­press com­ments about my weight. To them, I was my weight.

At this point in my 68-year-old life, I still have to watch what I eat, but I’m rea­son­ably com­fort­able with my size. Nev­er­the­less, a new ac­quain­tance asked me not long ago whether I have a goi­ter. My neck hangs down and al­ways has; ev­ery­one on my fa­ther’s side of the fam­ily has this neck, and mine is worse be­cause of a life­time of weight gain and weight loss. Af­ter the goi­ter com­ment, I feel self-con­scious. Rude com­ments are still com­ing in.

Thanks for writ­ing. I’m print­ing your let­ter, as it of­fers an­other ex­am­ple of some­thing not to say to a friend (or to any­one, pe­riod). If you want to try wor­ry­ing less about peo­ple look­ing at your neck, pick out some­thing about your­self you love — your eyes, smile, ear­lobes, what­ever — and be­lieve that’s what peo­ple see when they see you. It might not al­ways be true, but if you’re go­ing to as­sume some­thing, why not as­sume some­thing good?

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