Dear Annie: I am writing a long overdue thank-you note to my parents. They are faithful readers of your column. Mom and Dad, I am thankful that:
You stood your ground and did not give in to me, even when I threw fits and demanded my way.
You supported me in school and gave me the tools to succeed, instead of letting me waste my potential.
You made me honor the commitments I had made, instead of allowing me to quit when it became hard or boring.
You took me to church on Sundays, rather than allowing me to sleep in.
You insisted that I respect authority, not thinking it was cute when I defied adults.
You made me speak using clean language, not tolerating profanity even though “everyone else talked that way.”
You checked my Facebook page and other social media, making me remove anything inappropriate or insulting to others.
You explained the dark and dangerous path I was choosing when I was tempted to dabble in alcohol and drugs, instead of turning a blind eye.
You encouraged and persuaded me to wait when I considered having sex as a teen, rather than buying me birth control.
You showed me how to forgive others and overlook offenses, instead of letting me develop a bitter spirit.
You taught me the value of teamwork, not a “Me First” attitude.
You guided me to develop goals and not live for immediate self-gratification.
You helped me choose friends carefully and wisely, instead of welcoming everyone into my life under the guise of being non-judgmental.
You insisted that I apologize when I was wrong and make efforts at reconciliation, rather than create unnecessary enemies.
You lectured me often, instead of biting your tongue.
You were the authority figures in the home, and I knew it.
Even though I yelled that you hated me, I didn’t really believe that.
I knew that every word and action from you came from a giant heart of love.
Here’s to you, Mom and Dad.
Thank you for your courageous parenting.
— Young Adult Who Is Better for It
Dear Young Adult: We can only imagine how proud your parents will be to see this. We hope every parent who reads your letter will make a copy to keep by their bedside and believe that their own child wrote it. Thank you.
Dear Annie: “California” asked about the gifts for a young man entering boot camp. Unless they do it differently now, you can’t just change your mind. You sign a contract. Leaving would be “going AWOL,” and they will come looking for you.
— Been There
Dear Been: Actually, this is not so. You can change your mind about enlisting, as long as you go through the proper procedures to do so.
Dear Annie: Your response to “Iowa” was a little short of information. She questioned why toilet paper dispensers were so low. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, they are required to be at that height.
Requirements also include heights for side and rear grab bars, as well as minimum stall sizes and clearances. Did you know that a 5-foot circle is required as a clear dim within a handicapped stall? There is more, but you get the point.
— Christian in Aptos
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