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Dear Urban Diplomat: How do I say no to being a godfather?

Dear Urban Diplomat,

I work with a widowed single mom who has an eight-year-old son. As I have a daughter the same age, we’ve bonded over parenting. Recently, she told me she has no close family and no friends she would trust to look after her son should something happen to her. Then she asked if I would be his godfather. I hastily gave her a line about needing to discuss it with my family, but the request just feels inappropriate, desperate and weird. How do I say no without sounding like a heartless bastard?

—Don’t Corleone, GTA

The best way to let her down gently is to tell her straight up. She must know she’s asking a lot, so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise when you say you’re just not ready to take on the extra responsibility. If your friend truly cares about finding an appropriate landing spot for her child, she’ll welcome your honesty. If not, she can always tap her favourite Starbucks barista or Facebook acquaintance as a plan B.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com

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