DEAR ABBY: I've been reading the letters about grandmothers who are inclined to be more generous to the children of their daughters than to the children of their sons.
Well, I'm one of those grandmothers, and I'd like to explain the reason for my favoritism. I am a widow with a daughter living at one end of the state and a son living at the other end. I'm in the middle.My son and his wife have six children. They are all adults now, but when they were growing up, I'd send them lovely clothes - always the best. These clothes were soon in rags because the children had never been taught to take care of them. When I visited them, I'd see their clothes on the floor. They would deliberately walk on them - and the dog slept on them! I bought them expensive toys, and they made a game out of who could break them the fastest!
They never said "thank you" for anything. Nor did they write a note of any kind. When they were older and came to visit me, if I asked them to help me with something, they'd ask me how much I was going to pay them.
Now, let me tell you about my daughter's children. They took good care of whatever I gave them. They sent me handmade thank-you notes on which was scribbled, "I love you, Granny," when they were tiny tots. When they were grown, they'd call me just to say, "I'm thinking of you and love you very much." They really made me feel I was loved.
Abby, I love all my grandchildren, but I must be honest, I can't help but favor my daughter's children.
I know there are exceptions in every family, but I have observed that the children of daughters are usually more loving to their grandparents than the children of sons. - SOUTH CAROLINA GRANDMA
DEAR GRANDMA: My mail confirms what you have observed. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: There is definitely a good reason why grandchildren are partial to one set of grandparents. I am in a position to know, as I have three sons and two daughters - with a total of 10 grandchildren.
We love all of our grandchildren and have tried not to favor the children of our daughters, but we can't help doing so. Our daughters' children have been raised to be very loving and attentive to us, but I can't say the same for the children of our sons.
Since all three of our sons married local girls, every time they come to town, there is the sharing of time, and the sons' parents are the last to be considered, or so it seems.
A little story helped us to accept the order of things after our eldest son was married. Here's the story: There was a knock on the door. The visitor said, "Hello. I'm your Aunt Ellen - on your father's side."
The little boy replies, "Well, I can tell you right now, you're on the wrong side."
So, whenever we begin to feel left out, one of us will quip, "I can tell you right now, you're on the wrong side!" Immediately, a chuckle replaces any possible resentment. - LIVING AND LEARNING
CONFIDENTIAL TO OCTOBER BRIDE: A good marriage isn't a matter of luck. It's the result of a conscious and constant effort. It's giving and forgiving, knowing when to talk and when to keep quiet. All marriages are beautiful. It's the living together afterward that's difficult.
-Don't put off writing thank-you notes, letters of sympathy, etc. because you don't know what to say. Get Abby's booklet, "How to Write Letters for All Occasions." Send a check or money order for $2.89 ($3.39 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)