Today the Sage has time for only a few Seekers. http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/03/infertile_woman_should_a_man_leave_a_woman_because_she_can_t_have_kids_.html The rest of the line will be addressed later.
1. The Sage assures you that you are not a jerk. After all, having your own biological children would prove your verility, so you would be certain that you would want them and that they would grow to be the people that you want them to be, emulating you in all things. That is what you wish, is it not? Therefore, the Sage can think of many terms more appropriate than simply "jerk."
2. The Sage will not veil your advice through sarcasm. You neither bore nor adopted your siblings. Your parents certainly knew what they were doing when they adopted them, and if they are unable to bear this load on their own, they must must find means to hire some assistance. Many parents with dar fewer children take jobs with alternating hours so that one may always be available for the kids. Parenting is not just feeding, clothing, and housing children; but preparing the children to go on to be independent, competent adults.
3. The Sage urges you to find information from the nearest health department which explains the hazards of fertilizing with human manure. Yes, caution the neighbors, but do it carefully. When the produce nears harvesting, smile and tell the neighbors that you never would have believed that things could grow so well using only human waste for fertilizer.
4. The Sage would remind you that 14 is also an aged where a yougn lady needs some privacy from her 4 younger brothers. The family vacation, as you point out, happens every year. Many people never take such a trip. Tell her the rules you expect her to obey on her trip, and wish her well.
The Sage will complete this post later. Other obligations call.
Now, for the rest of the Wisdom.
5. The Sage applauds your efforts to keep your Minions in line. How better to ensure their absolute fealty and devotion than to make command decisions which leave them no room whatsoever for individuality. Whether Serfs or Minions, one must keep one's underlings intheir places at all times. Remember to control your husband-to-be, as well. You would not want him to falsely believe that he has any control in your and his future life together.
6. The Sage urges you to find an extremely deep and secluded well into which to store your brother's remains. A girl wearing pants and a T-shirt is not "dressing like a boy", but wearing casual clothing. Brava to your daughter for recognizing that children who wear pants get to have more fun and be more daring than those wearing dresses. Offer to buy your brother a dress, if you are unable to get him to the well, once a suitable one is located.
7. Feel free to give advice, but not in the Mystic Cave. Goodbye.
8. The best interim advice the Sage can give you is to permit yourself to mourn, openly and with many tears, while you are home alone or with your significant other. You are taking the correct first step toward accepting your mother's loss. Remember that this ultimately is about her, not about you.
9. The Sage insists that you and your husband discuss what is to be gained or avoided with each option. Without knowing why you each feel as you do, it will be impossible to reach an accord. Perhaps you will be lucky enough not to have any children you might be forced to cut in half.
10. This is not your Cave. The father the uncle stays away from his niece, the more well-balanced and healthy she is likely to be.
11. The Sage will remind you that your first obligation is to your minor children. If you felt your toddler was unsafe with your cousin around, you have no obligation to befriend her further. If she suggests playdates, tell her that you have other friends with whom you have more in common. At the same time, do what you can to monitor the child your cousin bears and act the way you would want someone to act if your child were exposed to whatever actions of your cousin which concern you.
12. The Sage agrees that you cannot be faithful to your brother's withes and to those of his wife. Consider who is the more likely to be hurt in this, and tell her that she is at risk of contracting the gift which keeps giving. If your brother - or even she - becomes angry at you, consider that they have each made a choice.
13. There are empty caves a-plenty upon the Mystic Mountain. Find your own.
14. The Sage recommends that you get Mr. Hughes some help before he loses any opportunity he has to form a bond wiht his child. If he is reluctant, inform him what would be the cost of child-support for what may well be his only child.
15. Explain to your child that having someone else do her work is not only dishonest, but fails to teach her the lessons that the assignment is intended to teach. Speak with the teacher and ask if your daughter may be granted an extension. You need not tell the teacher that the child's father completed the assignment for her, but do point out that the daughter had to use her visitation time with him for the project. The Sage suspects that the father believed that by doing the work himself, he and his child would have more quality time together. Help the instructor see that your child is probably not the only one in this situation.