DEAR AMY: Lacrosse is the most popular boys’ sports where I live. My son used to play high school lacrosse. He is now 19, and a freshman in college. Lacrosse has a lot of fans following the sport. There is one super-fan who has befriended some of the players. This man is about 50 years old. He has never been married and makes a lot of money. Once the players graduate from high school, he flies a few of them across the country on trips. These trips are weekend trips. He has taken a few of my son’s friends on trips. He has asked my son if he wants to go on a trip with him. I think they take in college lacrosse games and even some NBA or NFL games. He also has the guys over to his place sometimes to watch games. Sometimes he takes a small group of these guys and sometimes it is just one. My husband and I trust our son, and he really wants to go on an upcoming trip to Atlanta. But both of us don’t think this is right that a man of 50 wants to take these young men on trips like this. We want to tell our son he can’t go, but he is 19. Is it right for a man of 50 to take young men like this on a trip?
DEAR WORRIED: As the parent of five young adults, I can’t readily imagine seeking out the company of a teenager I’m not directly responsible for.
So yes, I (also) find this strange, with creepy and alarming overtones. This man is making sure that the young people he befriends are just at the age of consent when he approaches them to travel to these very enticing sporting events.
You should reach out to the parents of other young men who have gone on these trips. Do they feel the same way you do? Is this man supplying alcohol to these younger men? (you can assume so). Is he giving them money?
You could also contact the man, himself, and tell him, “We would like you to take our son’s name off of your invitation list.” Tell your son exactly how you feel about this. Tell him this seems predatory and creepy, and that your alarm bells are ringing.
If your son defies you and picks up and leaves, understand that this is a choice he can legally make. Make sure he knows that he can contact you at any time for any reason.
But you should also be willing to have him be mad at you in order to try to keep him safe.
DEAR AMY: I was wondering how best to handle a situation at work. I work with a tight-knit group of women who are supportive of one another. I recently found out that I am pregnant. I am excited to share the news at the right time, but I am concerned about sharing the happy news because I am keenly aware of the pain and suffering one of my colleagues has gone through with multiple miscarriages. How do I share this without causing her more pain?
DEAR EMPATHETIC: Don’t tell your colleagues anything until you are at the three-month mark.
When you decide to disclose your pregnancy, tell your most sensitive colleague first. Tell her privately that you recognize this could be hard for her. Let her know that you will understand if she doesn’t want to interact with you regarding the pregnancy, and urge her to be honest about her feelings and reactions.
Many women who have miscarried (myself included) find it quite painful to be around pregnant women, during the time period when they are struggling.
You cannot control how your co-worker feels, but it is kind of you to care.
DEAR AMY: “Wondering Mom” wrote the question I could have written to you. Wondering has a young daughter who is big and tall for her age, and this mom was wondering what “back to school” clothes to get. Your answer was so sensible and sensitive to the plight of a bigger girl. Thank you!
DEAR MOM: I am an actual mom, but I also enjoy being an “armchair mom,” helping other parents to come up with ideas. I’ve received (and followed) so much help and guidance through the years from other parents; it is my pleasure to pay it forward.