Dear Abby: I found a wonderful clipping from your column dated 1969. It was in an old scrapbook belonging to my mom. Mom is gone now, but I remember how much she loved "A Parent's Prayer." Will you please run it again?
- Elva Harris, Aberdeen, Wash.
Dear Elva: Thank you for your kind words, but I was not the author. "A Parent's Prayer" was written by the late Gary C. Meyers, co-founder of Highlights for Children, a wholesome, educational monthly children's magazine. It is now in its fourth generation.
I, too, loved "A Parent's Prayer," and here it is:
A PARENT'S PRAYER
Oh, God, make me a better parent.
Help me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them, talking back to them and contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. Give me the courage to confess my sins against my children and to ask of them forgiveness when I know that I have done them wrong.
May I not vainly hurt the feelings of my children. Forbid that I should laugh at their mistakes or resort to shame and ridicule as punishment. Let me not tempt a child to lie and steal. So guide me hour by hour that I may demonstrate by all I say and do that honesty produces happiness.
Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. May I cease to nag; and when I am out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue.
Blind me to the little errors of my children and help me to see the good things that they do. Give me a ready word for honest praise.
Help me to treat my children as those of their own age, but let me not exact of them the judgments and conventions of adults. Allow me not to rob them of the opportunity to wait upon themselves, to think, to choose and to make decisions.
Forbid that I should ever punish them for my selfish satisfaction. May I grant them all of their wishes that are reasonable and have the courage always to withhold a privilege which I know will do them harm.
Make me so fair and just, so considerate and companionable to my children that they will have a genuine esteem for me. Fit me to be loved and imitated by my children.
With all thy gifts, O God, do give me calm and poise and self-control.
Dear Abby: I never thought I would be able to contribute to your column, although I have been a fan of yours (and your sister's) for many years.
I thought you might enjoy this little limerick-style poem I ran off this morning.
ABBY AND ANN
Twin sisters named Abby and Ann
Devised a remarkable plan
Of answering questions
And making suggestions,
(Providing a service to man).
Through the years as these ladies matured,
And reflecting on all they've endured,
Came to find themselves famous
(Like Andy and Amos)
And beloved by all they've assured.
To end this attempt at light verse,
(Believe me, I've written much worse)
I'll be a big fan
Of Abby and Ann
'Til they carry me off in a hearse.
- Herb Nash, Port Orchard, Wash.
Dear Herb: Thank you for the poem. I think it's terrific! Are you related to Ogden Nash, who wrote these immortal words?
For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)