Parent is tired of explaining gender transitioning
We have decided with sadness that he is not welcome here anymore. We also feel it will be difficult to see him at family gatherings in the future.
Any thoughts on what we should do?
-- Heartbroken & Sad
Dear Heartbroken: I have a completely different take on this than you do. But that's probably because I have traveled and vacationed with young children, and I am aware that things get quite bananas when a family is trying to account for everyone's possessions, and multiple people are packing the car. It is also possible that one of the kids nicked the equipment. But I don't think your nephew is a thief.
His explanations make perfect sense to me, and his quick offer to return these items to you means that he cares about you and your possessions, and that he wants to respect the relationship. It would be unfortunate if you severed a close relationship for the wrong reason.
Dear Amy: I was raised to hug family members when greeting or departing, as a sign of affection. If you didn't hug, it was almost a snub. When I became engaged, I hugged my future mother-in-law, who told me that she wasn't much for hugging. I was so hurt and humiliated, and never touched her again for any reason. I couldn't warm up to her.
Dear Hugger: I assume there are other reasons you never warmed up to your mother-in-law, although it would have been gracious for her to accept a hug.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)