Dear Annie: Several months ago, my 17-year-old son’s girlfriend had a baby. I was upset at first, but then realized that the couple was young and needed help. My house now looks like a daycare center.
For the whole nine months, we were part of the pregnancy. I paid for the mother to have an additional ultrasound, purchased a heartbeat bear for her and threw her a wonderful baby shower. Her mother helped a little, but not much.
Two days after the baby shower, she told my son he isn’t the father. He doesn’t believe it and is really hurt. When the baby was born, we were notified via text. My son filed for paternity, and the mother was given 20 days to respond. She didn’t. My son took his DNA test, and his ex-girlfriend hired a lawyer.
The mother of my grandson is 20 years old, and I believe she is scared of her mother. That woman kept her own children away from their biological father and controls everything about her children. She doesn’t allow her daughter to take the baby out of the house without a family member accompanying her. When the baby’s mother goes to work, she takes the baby with her.
We cannot get any answers from them about why they won’t allow us to be part of our new grandchild’s life. It’s been two months, and we haven’t been able to see or hold him yet. What can we do? — Heartbroken Mamaw
Dear Heartbroken: Your son has taken a DNA test, and right now, all you can do is wait for the results. If it turns out the baby is not his, please let it go, no matter how difficult that would be for you. However, if the baby is indeed your son’s child, he should seek legal counsel, file for joint custody and put a visitation and child support plan into effect as soon as possible.
Dear Annie: I am a retired person in my 60s who has been successful as a parent, spouse, environmental activist, employee and now as a community volunteer.
I have a simple plea: Please, America, be more tolerant, respectful and civil when you express your political and religious beliefs to friends and family. Just because someone does not share your exact interpretation of the Constitution or the Bible does not mean they are any less patriotic, ethical or spiritual than you. Remember, tolerance and willingness to compromise are founding principles of our wonderful country. — In Favor of Tolerance and Respect
Dear In Favor: Amen to that. We don’t know why it has become so difficult for people to express themselves without resorting to disdain, anger and even violence, but it’s time to stop. The holiday season is a good time to remember the idea of peace and goodwill toward your fellow citizens.
Dear Annie: I would like to respond to “Single Too Long,” the 45-year-old never-married man who can’t find the “right lady” who carries no baggage.
At age 55, I am one such lady and have several others as friends. We are all highly educated engineers and, being able to support ourselves, did not have to settle for just any man. However, we were not often asked out, perhaps because our intelligence was intimidating, or because we were perceived as not being sufficiently needy. Men like to feel needed.
My advice is to look within your own age group for women to date. Men seem to gravitate toward women at least 10 years their junior, which upsets women of their own age – who would be thrilled to date them. Second, Annie’s advice to go where the women are is spot-on. To male-deprived activities such as church and singing groups (which are always desperate for more tenors and basses), I would add group exercise classes such as Zumba and yoga. Men are welcomed into these classes, which offer great physical benefits regardless of the dating possibilities. — Schenectady, N.Y.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.