DEAR ABBY: I have been keeping a journal for my son since he was born 22 years ago. I have never missed a single day. I write about him regardless of whether I see him or not. Sometimes I’ll jot down a verse I remembered, or something happening in his world or an item of newsworthy information. I have also written my thoughts about his life and decisions.
My dilemma is when I should give these writings to him. I don’t want to keep them indefinitely because they are meant for him. He is married and has a son on the way. My inclination is to give him the writings of his life on the occasion of his son’s birth. He has no idea I’ve been doing this, so it will be a complete surprise. I’d appreciate your input. — BLOCKED WRITER IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR BLOCKED WRITER: What an amazing gift those journals will be. However, allow me to caution you against giving them to your son when his child is born. There will be a lot going on at that time, and you do not want to distract from that momentous occasion. My advice is to wait until his next milestone birthday and present them to him when he’s 25. And because you enjoy journaling, consider starting one about your own life then.
DEAR ABBY: I have always enjoyed Halloween. I like seeing the children in their costumes and, for most of the little ones, it is a fun and magical time.
In our neighborhood, a group of 15 to 20 parents escort their trick-or-treating children from door to door. Sometimes there are 25 to 30 kids. When they approach a house for their treats, the parents remain on the sidewalk, apparently oblivious to what’s going on when the door opens.
We have a small front porch that rises about 8 inches above the sidewalk. The kids push and shove, jockeying for position to get their “loot.” Last year, a 5-year-old fell off our porch. Fortunately, she was not hurt. The parents did not issue any directions to their children to take turns accepting our candy because they were too busy chatting among themselves.
Because of the inherent danger to unsupervised children (and the possibility of a lawsuit if there should be an accident), I will not be turning on my porch light this year — the signal in our area that alerts kids that the home is participating in trick-or-treat.
I hope my letter will remind parents to practice mindfulness and make this Sunday a Happy Halloween! — LIGHTS OUT IN HARRISBURG
DEAR LIGHTS OUT: So do I, and that’s why I’m printing your letter, which arrived just in time for me to include it in today’s column. Last year your neighbors were lucky the child who fell didn’t break a wrist or an ankle. Parents, when escorting your little ghosts, goblins and vampires, please remain vigilant. Common sense must prevail.
DEAR ABBY: I’m in love with my best friend. It seems so simple when I say it, but when it comes to telling him, the words never come out right. I don’t know if I should even say anything. What if it ruins the amazing friendship we already have? Is it worth risking it all? — HESITANT IN FLORIDA
DEAR HESITANT: Yes, it is, so tell him how you feel. If he has feelings for you, you’ll get what you’re angling for. If he doesn’t, it does not mean your friendship must end. It will let you know that if you want a romantic relationship you are free to look elsewhere. Better to know it sooner than later.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.