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Dear Webby


Dear Webby,

My daughter and her family now live in Maryland. She called and said her two children (a boy 15 and girl 13) would like to spend six weeks with my husband and me this summer. I suspect she doesn't know what to do with them as she and her husband both work.

I love my grandchildren but my grandson is kind of unruly and my husband and I have made some plans including a few small trips. They do have other relatives here, but we have the room in our home and are retired.

My husband says we can't say no and he will teach them to play golf. I am not as eager to start making family dinners and changing our plans.

What do you think? Am I being selfish?

Tired and 80 years old

Dear Tired,

Webby is not eighty and it makes me tired to think of hosting any guests for six weeks, even family. No matter how much you love them. Every one is different, however, and it sounds like your husband is ready for the challenge.

Webby would suggest you write them (carbon copy to parents) and state how delighted you are (you are, aren't you?) that they want to spend some of their vacation days with you.

Suggest however that they might find your daily life very boring and miss their friends. Also you realize that to come for six weeks keeps them from getting summer jobs, and although you really appreciate that they are willing to do that you would feel guilty.

Webby would suggest that they come for 2 or 3 weeks. Make sure they know that granddad is very excited and hopes he can interest them in golf and some of his interests. Tell them you are excited to have them visit their other relatives too and you will plan get-togethers with them.

You are looking forward to shopping trips, movies and showing them around town. Make them feel very welcome. They may miss their grandparents and other family members.

How did they feel about the move out of state? When did they move? Have they friends here that they miss?

Should it turn out that you are all enjoying the summer you can always extend the time. If this is really their idea, how lucky you are that they want to be with you. You can make memories that will last for many winters.

Make it clear that they will be treated as part of the family - that means helping out with chores and following the family rules.

Webby is suggesting this assuming that all is well at home for them. That their parents are loving and caring and that there is no trouble in paradise. If there is any chance that these children are being neglected or other things are going on, open your arms and doors with love and make sure they know they have a loving family here that cares about and is there for them.

Either way this could be your best summer yet. Your trips and other events will be there after they leave so enjoy this opportunity to share time with them.

Webby


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