DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: I always thought I had a solid relationship with my son, especially after his mom left us when he was four. With her out of our lives, my parents stepped in to help, for which I have always been grateful.
My son is now in the eighth grade, and I feel like he is moving further from me at the same time as he is bonding more strongly with my father. I hate feeling jealous, but I do when I see that they have this special thing that I am not allowed to be part of.
I have been close with my dad all my life, even when I was overseas for nearly four years. He and my mom have been real lifesavers, but I do not like feeling pushed away.
How do I make sure I don’t lose my closeness with my son without offending my father? --- MISSING OUT
DEAR MISSING OUT: As you’ve probably pieced together, your son is getting to an age where he’s naturally going to start branching out into a life all his own. I think it’s a good thing that he’s staying close to his grandfather. As he gets further into the teen years, it may be a big help for him to have a trusted adult, who isn’t his father, to confide in and look for guidance from. So long as you believe your dad is a good candidate for the role, I say, let it be.
This doesn’t mean you should give up on working to stay close to your son. Just make allowance for the changes he’s going to be facing on his road to adulthood. Having two good men in his corner would be a real blessing, now and in the future.