Dear Readers: Sometimes I get letters from children, but don't often include them in the column. Many unknowingly give away their identities, so I write them back privately. Here are a few that are OK to publish.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I know that my mother still loves my father, although he has moved on. Well, Mom forced him to move on. She says she was tired of living with a workaholic, that he was never there and was in love with his job, not her. I also heard her tell him that he did not fill up her needs. How can I get them back together? They are only separated, but not divorced. I hear her crying at night and sometimes she says his name, and cries louder. It makes me very sad. Dad thinks she doesn't love him any more. I know that's not true. -- The Only Son, Winnipeg
Dear Only Son: It's easy to understand how you feel, and I think it would be worth reporting this to your dad. Are you close to him? If you are, tell him straight out what you have heard or write him a note and give it to him. Then just leave it at that. You are too young to tell him what to do about it, but at least he will have the new information.
If you say nothing, you might wonder all your life if it would have helped, so you have nothing to lose by telling him. Then just wait and see what happens. If your dad tells you it's not your business, don't be too upset. Just say casually, "Sorry, Dad, I just thought you should know." He will turn it over in his mind and his first reaction may not be his last reaction. Write back and tell me how it goes. -- Sincerely, Miss L.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was in love with a boy from Grade 2 to Grade 5 and nobody would believe me. Now I am in Grade 8 and he has asked me to hang out. I said, "No, I don't want to do that, but I will go to a movie with you and pay my own way." At the movie he said he liked me and he knew I liked him since Grade 2, and he took my hand and we walked home. Then he kissed me at the door. But nothing happened! I just felt his lips, but there were no feelings, like fireworks. My first kiss was just cold lips. I spent a lot of time wishing and hoping for that moment, and when it came, it was nothing. Thanks. I just needed to tell somebody that's not my mom. -- Four Wasted Years, Winnipeg
Dear Wasted Years: Don't think of them as wasted years. You had someone to think nice things about and to fill your daydreams when you were bored. But really, those feelings faded out in Grade 5, remember? You were becoming more grown up at that time and now you are going through puberty. Your tastes are changing every year. Plus, the dopey thing that guy said about knowing you liked him all that time must have been embarrassing to you. Those embarrassed feelings would not make for a great first kiss.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm writing about two friends. One of them doesn't have any other friends or a father and I took pity on her and became her friend. She is nice and we click. As for the other, she has been my best friend for years and we can almost read each other's thoughts, but she doesn't seem to like it when I'm with my other friend and she ignores me and is grouchy and I don't know how to make her more happy. I can't please both of them because they don't click and sometimes argue. I don't want to drop either of them because I've been dropped and it's not the best place to be. Could you help me out? -- In the Middle, Manitoba
Dear In the Middle: You sound like a very kind girl. Can you explain to both of your friends that you need to spend time with them separately? They already know they don't like to be in the same room with each other and you, so this will not be news. Try to make special times to be with each one, and don't gossip between them. That way they will feel safe to tell you private things the way special young friends do, and hopefully you can keep both of them happy, but sometimes three together just does not work for young girls.
Please send your questions or comments c/o firstname.lastname@example.org or mail letters to:
Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6