Life Advice



Becoming a Father

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I was worried that once the baby came, I would have tremendous difficulty sacrificing my time for him.

I was worried that when I wanted to watch the game, I'd be dragged onto the floor to play dinosaurs. I was worried that I would be bored endlessly reading children's book after children's book. I had never changed a diaper in my life and was worried that I would be grossed out daily.

Then I met my son, and none of that happened.

Today, no playoff game is more important to me than playing with my kids. Today, I buy more books than my house can hold and have read myself hoarse. Today, easing my kids' discomfort (including changing their diapers) is my daily goal.

Being a parent is the highlight of my life, and as I sang to my first born to help him fall asleep to the tune of "Hush Little Baby": "You're the best boy in the world. / You'll make friends with boys and girls. / I love you more than words can say. / My love grows each and every day. / You're my guy and I'm your man. / You'll do more than you think you can. / You'll make mistakes along the way. / Sometimes your dad won't know what to say. / You'll be smart, and you'll be kind. / You'll use your heart, and you'll use your mind. / I love you more than you'll ever know. / I can't wait to see how far you'll go." -- New Dad

Dear New Dad: Thank you for your letter. Your children sound very fortunate to have a father as present and selfless as you.

Dear Annie: "Ready to Give Up" was lamenting his bad luck with dating and social awkwardness. My brother-in-law was the same way his whole life. He got very sick and moved in with us. Once I got to spend some time with him, I observed that his approach to life was very different from my own and from most people's. We decided to have him tested, and, at age 46, he was diagnosed with Asperger's.


Although he was resistant to accept his diagnosis early on, he has finally accepted that it's not him; it's just that his brain is wired differently. Those "crossed wires" cause "glitches" in the way he interprets data and handles life.

With a care team, counselor, and supports and services, he is now living his best life and is almost comfortable enough to begin dating again. -- Better Understanding

Dear Understanding: It is great that you were able to help your brother-in-law find out the correct diagnosis and then come up with a treatment plan so he is getting the help that he needs. What a gift for all of you to know what is happening, and what a tribute to your caring and love for him -- and keen observations. Good luck on his future dating, and congrats on being proactive to help your brother-in-law to live his best life.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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