Annie’s Mailbox: Sons need not marry and vanish

Dear Annie: When I was pregnant with my second son, my mother and others said it was “too bad” because girls stay close to their families and boys don’t.

My boys are now 6 and 9, and I think of those comments every day. I have a very loving home, and I kiss my kids all the time and tell them I love them and am proud of them. We have dinners at home, and my husband and I talk to them about their lives and keep on top of schooling, friends, etc. Right now, they are sweet, affectionate kids, but I’m so worried that they will disappear when they grow older and marry.

I have a co-worker who never sees her son and knows little about his daily life. While she is fine with that, it horrifies me. My husband isn’t concerned because he is close to his mom (me, too), but it still itches at my brain. I don’t want “mama’s boys,” but what can I do to keep a close relationship with my boys as they grow up? – Michigan

Dear Michigan: The old adage, “A son is a son until he takes a wife; a daughter is a daughter the rest of her life,” has some basis in fact. Girls identify with their mothers, and since women tend to maintain the social structure of the home, their family preferences win out. We recommend you maintain an open and honest relationship with your boys, and when they are teens, it’s OK to tell them you hope they will stay close even after they marry. And then make friends with their wives and treat them with respect. Those women need to know you accept them without judging and will love them as if they were your own.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

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