The Mercury News Weekend

Grandma can't celebrate baby

- Ask Amy Amy Dickinson — Perplexed Contact Amy Dickinson via email, askamy@ amydickins­

DEAR AMY >> I know

I'm old-fashioned, but I still think I'm right!

My son has been dating a young lady for about six months. They live together. She has a 3-year-old child and no relationsh­ip with that child's father.

Now she and my son are expecting a child of their own.

I am not thrilled. He is 29 and she is 24.

They would like me to host a baby shower for them.

I'm sure I will love the baby, but I am not comfortabl­e asking friends and family to celebrate this pregnancy.

I don't want to alienate them, but I really don't want to do this. I did offer to host a wedding for them. I think parents should be married.

— Reluctant Grandma

DEAR RELUCTANT >> If you don't want to host a shower for the baby, then perhaps the child's mother has someone in her life who will step up.

If you refuse to celebrate this pregnancy and you won't ask, expect, or encourage others to celebrate this pregnancy, then — aside from the couple's marital status — this baby is already starting life disadvanta­ged.

Baby showers are intended to create a circle of support for expectant parents, but they are really supposed to be about the baby.

Your old-fashioned standards are putting quite a burden on a baby that didn't ask to come into this world and hasn't been born yet.

Imagine the difference for a child that is born into an accepting and welcoming relationsh­ip with its grandmothe­r, versus a grandmothe­r that disapprove­s of and is disappoint­ed by its existence because of the parents' marital status.

It is understand­able and natural not to be thrilled by an unexpected pregnancy to unmarried parents who haven't been together for very long.

But the time to start the process of learning to love this baby is now.

DEAR AMY >> Recently you published a question from “Perplexed,” asking about the propriety of sending holiday cards featuring photos of a deceased person.

I'm the person who wrote that question. My friend's husband died several years ago, but she continues sending cards featuring photos of the two of them together.

I read your response along with another response in my local newspaper.

Your answer made a lot of sense. I never looked at it that way.

After that reply from you, I wrote to my friend to thank her for sharing her memories with me.

DEAR PERPLEXED >> In my response, I suggested that you look at these photos not as a morbid reminder of a person who has died, but as your friend's choice to celebrate a relationsh­ip that for her is very much alive.

Thank you so much for getting in touch. I'm so glad you were inspired to reach out to your friend.

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