A: If the election mattered to me, I’d give him my support. Don’t be so set in your political affiliation that you let the lesser candidate win. Your conscience should be your guide, not worries about what your “comrades” will think of it. Political identity is another of those labels that can limit us and lead us away from the correct path. Sometimes that path requires that we veer to the left or the right in order to go the best way. Don’t be afraid to deviate from your norm. In many cases that signals growth.
Q: I have a family member who is terminally ill due to a series of poor choices and the consequences resulting from these. When people ask about him, I really don’t want to go into sordid details but feel I should respond with something. Any suggestions?
A: Yes, there’s a perfect Southern response to this. The next time you are asked how he is doing just say, “He’s doin’,” and leave it at that. You can add a cryptic smile at the end or just a neutral expression. You are not obligated to give inquiring minds any fodder.
Q: My grown sons will not allow their small children to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc. There are two reasons: They want the focus of special celebrations to be on Christ, and they don’t want to lie to them (“If I tell them there really is a Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc., and they find out later that it’s not true, how can I expect them to believe me when I talk about God?”).
Although I continue to support my sons’ decisions, I cannot help but feel that my grandchildren are missing out on some childhood “wonders” and memories. I’d appreciate your perspective.
A: Childhood should brim with legends and wonders and marvels. It is the parent’s job to frame those in a context that fits the family’s beliefs and values. I think there is room for both, especially with young children. Parents can easily convey the difference between the Tooth Fairy and Christ so that a kid gets the important message.
Have you ever seen a little one in an environment where everyone else is enjoying Santa but him? Well, I have, and that’s a sad sight.
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Lauretta Hannon, a resident of Powder Springs, is the bestselling author of The Cracker Queen—A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life and a keynote speaker. Southern Living has named her “the funniest woman in Georgia.” See more at thecrackerqueen.com.