Parties for Kids

My brother and his wife are raising my sister’s child, a wonderful kid who is still in elementary school. My sister and her husband passed away, unfortunately, but my brother and his wife have been amazing so far. I’m trying to help where I can. There’s no denying that we’re a little out of our depth, though! Take our current task: planning this great kid’s first big birthday party. We want everything to be perfect for her, but we don’t know much about what makes a kids’ party cool and fun. Should we hire a clown or entertainment, or something? What sets a party for kids apart, and how can we entertain the parents, too?

Fun and Free Time on Vacation

I’m going on vacation with my parents next summer, and I have some mixed emotions about it. I’m excited, of course: we’re going to Hawaii, and that’s something that a poor broke college student like myself could never do on his own. But I’m also apprehensive, because my mom is a planner – a really, really serious planner. She fills every moment of every day of these vacations with one thing or another, and it can be really exhausting.

How can I talk to my mom about slowing her roll? I want to go to Hawaii, but I also want to, you know, actually enjoy the experience!

Love and Legacies

I’m an only child from an old-fashioned family, and I’m about to graduate college with my long-term girlfriend. So you can guess what my family is talking about: marriage, kids, and a whole new family: mine!

I’m very happy with my relationship, but I’m dragging my feet for a whole other weird reason, and it’s one that feels a little paranoid to say. I’m worried about what will happen to my family if I die. I know that sounds morbid, but if I had kids, I’d consider myself responsible for them (who wouldn’t?), and I remember a family friend years ago telling some awful story about a father who died and left his whole family in dire financial straits. I don’t even remember the friend, really, just the story – clearly it had an affect on me! What if I get run over by a truck, or something, and my family ends up all alone?

Anyway, I’m paranoid and rambling – can your experts reassure me with some kind of stats about life expectancy, or something?