DEAR ABBY: I am writing you not because of a problem, but because of two special people in my life.
I have two daughters, both in their 20s. They are well-educated and happy. I adore them. My wife and I consider ourselves lucky to be their parents. We never pushed them toward goals or to succeed, but they are self-motivated and confident.
I have come to the conclusion that some of us are quite blessed. I'd like you to know that at least two parents in this world realize that we are, and that we count our blessings. I am older now, and my relationship with my daughters continues to mature and grow. Older age has its joys, too -- some far deeper than I had ever imagined. -- AN APPRECIATIVE FATHER IN OREGON
DEAR APPRECIATIVE FATHER: Thank you for writing an "upper" of a letter. Your daughters didn't turn out so well by magic, and congratulations to you and your wife for what was obviously successful parenting. I would like to wish you a very happy Father's Day and offer the same to fathers everywhere -- birth fathers, stepfathers, adoptive fathers, foster fathers, and those caring men who mentor children and fill the role of absent fathers.
DEAR ABBY: My son is married to a wonderful young woman, "Dana," and they have a small baby. Dana suffered a brain injury years ago that left her somewhat developmentally delayed. Until the baby was born, it wasn't much of an issue, but it is becoming apparent that Dana is not always able to parent the child appropriately. (She will leave her on a table to get a diaper, doesn't feed her according to schedule and doesn't dress her warmly in cold weather.)
My son takes care of things when he's home, but he works every day. When I think of my own daughter's development, I see that Dana is operating at approximately a middle-teen level even though she's 28. Can you advise what I can do to ensure my granddaughter is safe and secure without making my daughter-in-law feel inadequate? I don't want to seem like a meddling M-I-L. -- LOVES DANA
DEAR LOVES DANA: If Dana would leave the baby on a table while she went to get a diaper, would she also leave the baby in a tub while she went to answer a phone? If you haven't voiced your concerns to your son, please do because your granddaughter could be seriously injured. Parenting classes might help your daughter-in-law, or involving a social worker or arranging for day care for the baby could also solve this problem.
DEAR ABBY: My wife of 37 years is calling out another man's name and moving her lips in her sleep. I don't recognize the name and I believe it might be someone she works with. Should I be concerned? -- SLEEPLESS IN TEXAS
DEAR SLEEPLESS: You should be curious, but sleep-talking is not necessarily indicative of romance. If you haven't already, ask her who the man of her dreams is. She could be mumbling the name of an old boyfriend from high school or that of a beloved pet from childhood.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)