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Ask Amy: Mom wants to keep news of first child a secret

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Fifty-five years ago, when I was young and stupid, I had a child out of wedlock and placed the baby up for adoption.

Fast-forward to now. I am married to a different man and have a 48-year-old daughter and a 38-year-old son.

I have two grandchildren. My husband knows about my indiscretion, but it never comes up in discussion.

Sometimes I struggle with the question: Do my adult children have the right to know that they have a half-brother somewhere? My gut tells me no: “Let a sleeping dog lie.” “Why open up a can of worms?”

I know my husband would definitely be against telling our kids about this. We are elderly people and just want to live peaceful lives.

Did I just answer my own question? I’m wondering what you think.

 

– Wondering

Dear Wondering: As long as you see this long-ago pregnancy only as a mistake, an indiscretion, or something that resulted from your own stupidity, you won’t have any motivation to tell the story.

And as long as you see this truth as a “sleeping dog” or a “can of worms,” rather than a story about actual human beings, then yes, you will keep a tight lid on it.

I see this as an important and very rich part of your own personal history.

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