DEAR ABBY: I am a recent high school graduate who is starting college soon. I am blessed to be part of a great family. The problem is, my mother is TOO good. She has always been kind and loving, but she insists on doing everything for me.

I consider myself to be independent, but she is constantly finding some way to “help.” When I tell her I need some space to grow, she cries. I love my mother dearly, but how can I convey to her that I’m a big boy now without hurting her feelings? — GROWN UP ON THE EAST COAST

DEAR GROWN UP: Your mother appears to be suffering from a common condition known as “Impending Empty Nest Syndrome.” It’s a form of anxiety and depression that often hits parents when a child is about to leave home and no longer needs the constant parenting that has been the norm for the prior 18 years.

The behavior you’re reacting to is called hovering. Your mother may be doing it because she’s savoring every last bit of mothering she can get in before you fly off to ever-increasing independence. Please be patient with her because in another month you’ll be out of there and she will be starting to adapt.

DEAR ABBY: God bless you! You’ve done it again. In 2001, American Ex-Prisoners of War got 600-plus responses to your printing our POW VA benefit alert in your column. You helped many former POWs and their widows get the VA benefits due them.

As of today, your July 18, 2009, column about benefits available to widows of veterans who died of ALS has generated more than 2,000 e-mails and many letters and phone calls! I will be plowing through all these e-mails for weeks to come, but I’m afraid people will be waiting too long for my responses.

That’s why I’m asking you to please help me again by letting your readers know that if their veteran husband died of ALS, they should call the Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000. This will get them to their nearest VA regional office. They should ask to speak with a service officer about their ALS claim for COMPENSATION, not pension. This will expedite the claim process.

Abby, thank you for reaching out to veterans with their service-connected health issues. God is blessing many through your unique column. — FRED CAMPBELL, AMERICAN EX- PRISONERS OF WAR

DEAR FRED: I’m delighted that my July 18 column will help so many — and I hope today’s column will, too. Readers, please pay attention to this “heads up” because Fred is swamped!

DEAR ABBY: Is it considered adultery if a husband encourages his wife to sleep with other men? My husband enjoys the idea of me sleeping with other men and then telling him about it. I don’t understand his fascination, but that’s what he likes. I am more concerned about the morality issue. What do you think? — ADULTERESS? IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR ADULTERESS?: Because you’re concerned with “the morality issue,” I assume you come from a traditional upbringing in which you were taught that sex is a sacred bond between husband and wife. Far more important than what I think is what YOU think about it. So call a moratorium for now, start thinking — and then follow your conscience.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” To order, send a business-sized, self- addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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