Ask Amy

Dear Amy: My 45-year-old daugh­ter got a large tat­too on her in­ner arm. Imag­ine my sur­prise when I f in­ally saw it. I said to her, “Is that real?” She laughed and said, “Yes.” Noth­ing fur­ther was said

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Amy Dick­in­son Con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email, askamy@tribpub.com

dur­ing my visit ex­cept for once when I stated, “I don’t like tat­toos.”

That was three years ago. Life went on, and the tat­too dis­solved, for me, into the back­ground of our re­la­tion­ship.

Now, she has sent me pic­tures of her with her dogs, hus­band, friends, etc., and I am see­ing an­other tat­too. We are plan­ning an­other visit. What do I say, if any­thing?

She ob­vi­ously wants me to no­tice. This is a woman who has a very re­spon­si­ble job, but is choos­ing (in my opin­ion) to de­file her body.

It’s prob­a­bly gen­er­a­tional, but I can’t stand to see my daugh­ter with tat­toos. I just don’t know how to ap­proach it. I think I got it wrong last time. Please tell me what to say. — Tat­too Hater

Dear Hater: Some­times I fall back on this: “If you can’t find some­thing nice to say, don’t say any­thing at all.”

For your daugh­ter, these tat­toos are not a de­file­ment, but a dec­o­ra­tion. A state­ment. Part of her ex­ter­nal iden­tity. And yes, your re­ac­tion is largely gen­er­a­tional.

Be­fore prepar­ing any re­sponse, ab­sorb this re­al­ity: your daugh­ter is her own per­son. Her body be­longs to her. She is not de­lib­er­ately try­ing to up­set you. She is just liv­ing her life.

You have choices re­gard­ing this re­la­tion­ship. You can choose to fo­cus on some­thing you see as a flaw and take it per­son­ally, or you can choose to love your daugh­ter whole­heart­edly, re­gard­less of her adorn­ment, and ac­cept and em­brace her, just as she is.

Dear Amy: My nor­mal rou­tine is that my li­censed child­care provider picks up my 5-year-old from school at 2:15 and cares for him un­til I fin­ish work. When she re­cently had a med­i­cal ap­point­ment, I agreed to pick him up and bring him to her, where her backup staff would care for him.

I for­got to pick up my own child! I found him, safe and sound, at the af­ter-school pro­gram at his school. I was hor­ri­fied.

This got me think­ing about the nu­mer­ous deaths (450 ba­bies and toddlers since 1998, 37 in 2016) that oc­cur ev­ery sum­mer be­cause chil­dren are ac­ci­den­tally left in cars.

Very of­ten, this oc­curs be­cause of a vari­a­tion in the par­ent’s nor­mal rou­tine. That could have eas­ily been me.

Please, let’s every­one get in the habit of throw­ing our purses/brief­cases/lunch bags/of­fice keys in the back­seat when we buckle in our child so that we are forced to look in the back­seat when we get to our des­ti­na­tion. And please, EV­ERY child­care provider should start mak­ing calls to the par­ents if a child does not ar­rive within a few min­utes of the ex­pected time. — Su­san in Upstate NY

Dear Su­san: Sta­tis­tics of chil­dren dy­ing of heat stroke in cars show that this tragedy is hap­pen­ing more of­ten. As you point out, this can hap­pen es­pe­cially when there is a vari­a­tion in the nor­mal rou­tine. Your so­lu­tion is both prac­ti­cal and wise.

Dear Amy: As the daugh­ter of some­one killed by an el­derly driver I had a hor­ri­ble time read­ing your curt and po­lit­i­cally safe re­sponse to the let­ter signed “Years of Wine and Roses.” My dad was struck and killed walk­ing his dog by an 87-year-old woman, not “turn­ing left,” “on the high­way,” or “driv­ing at night” — all things you noted that el­derly driv­ers tend to avoid.

An el­derly driver, at best, is a risk with slowed judg­ment and re­ac­tion times, re­duced hear­ing and sight.

When you com­pound those real risks with even the pos­si­bil­ity of drink­ing, it’s neg­li­gent to not con­tact the au­thor­i­ties for an eval­u­a­tion. There are laws in place that al­low them to re­quire a new driver’s exam when there’s a ques­tion of safety.

Please re­think your an­swer be­fore some­one else has to suf­fer the unimag­in­able pain my fam­ily has had to en­dure. — Griev­ing

Dear Griev­ing: I am so sorry to learn of your fam­ily’s ter­ri­ble loss. A physi­cian can or­der that a pa­tient must take a new driver’s test. Some­times even the prospect of tak­ing the test is enough to get an im­paired driver off the road.

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