Life Advice



Ask Amy: Grandson’s name causes angst for grandma

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Naming a male child after his father, grandfather, etc., is the very essence of “paternalistic,” in that it is a legacy of “paterfamilias” — a father-figure. I fail to see anything “confusing” — or negative — about this.

My own family has a very long and unbroken line of women named “Emily.” Is this “maternalistic”? Yes. Confusing? (Not to us.)

Does your husband loathe his middle name, “Randall” because it was his father’s name? Has your husband ever expressed to you that he wishes he had a different middle name? (It doesn’t sound as if you’ve discussed how he feels about this name’s impact on his own identity.)

I wish you could see this as a tribute to your husband, versus honoring a challenging history that only you and your husband seem to know about (your daughter seems unaware).

With this generation, your grandson will reclaim this name, continue to shine it up (your husband started the process), and restore its legacy.

That seems like a very good thing for everyone.


Yes, I think you should embrace this choice. And even if you can’t embrace it this is the parents’ choice to make.

Dear Amy: I’m wondering if you could give me some advice about my marriage.

I have been with my husband for 22 years. We have five children together, ages 20, 17, 14, 12, and four months old.

I recently found out that my husband was messing around with a 25-year-old woman at his job.


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