Life Advice



Ask Amy: Allergies bring on rash of restrictions

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

We have a “family orchard” instead of a family tree: one tree each for my husband’s family, my family, and each of their birth parents’ extended family.

Our kids are the roots, intertwined with their birth families, us, and each other.

– Fully Open Adoptive Mom

Dear Fully Open: A “family orchard” also describes my own family – and many others.

Thank you for the beautiful imagery. It’s the perfect way to picture the experience of being in a loving, complex, modern family.

Dear Amy: "Afraid Grandma" was frantically worried about her grandchildren corresponding with pen pals, thinking that they might be endangered.

Surely, she is old enough to remember when every year most people received a big directory of everybody's name, phone number and address? Also known as: The phone book?!


– I Remember

Dear I Remember: Touche!

I think it is wise to be careful about any correspondence – physical or virtual – but these children had parents close at hand, so Grandma needs to let them parent their children.


(You can email Amy Dickinson at or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

©2021 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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