Mom wants to exclude aunt from sendoff

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January 8, 2019 - 10:07 AM

Hi Carolyn: When my ex-husband and I divorced about eight years ago, he left town and I got full custody of our daughter, “Jane,” and remained great friends with his family (from whom he is estranged). His sister especially helped out with a lot of the logistics of raising a child, like afterschool coverage, and she has also come to school plays and activities with me. In addition, she is wealthy and has been amazingly generous to Jane over the years, buying clothes, taking her on wonderful trips, etc.

I never asked Aunt for these things, and have been able to support Jane OK, just not as well as Aunt can. Aunt offers gifts directly to Jane or just outright gives in a generous if overbearing way. Jane loves her Aunt, and not just for the stuff. That’s all great.

Now Jane is headed to college and Aunt has offered to cover any amount we need (about half, wow!). Jane and I are accepting this amazing gift but now I am uncomfortable with Aunt’s plans to come with us to school for the big drop-off and whatever else goes on when you leave your child at college. Is it too late to draw this boundary now, with Aunt about to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on Jane’s education?

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