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by Abigail Van Buren

Children of Any Age Are Still Kids to Their Parents

DEAR ABBY: When I read the letter in your column about calling 35- and 44-year-olds "our children," I had to smile.

Our children are 26, 27, 29, 30 and 34, and we still call them "the kids."

My husband is 59 and I am 50, and his parents always refer to us as "the kids." But what really strikes me as being funny is hearing the grandparents who are 76 and 75 years old call my in-laws "the kids."

Don't you just love it, Abby? It sounds so loving and youthful. -- MARJORIE GELLAT

DEAR MARJORIE: I more than "just love it" -- I can relate to it. My husband and I, at age 73, are still called "the kids" by his parents, who are 92 and 93 years old. And may the good Lord continue to bless that beautiful couple, Rose and Jay Phillips of Minneapolis, married 74 years ago today. Happy anniversary, Mother and Dad!

DEAR ABBY: In the words of William Wordsworth, "The child is father of the man." The definition of a "child" as offered by the couple who signed themselves "Ohio Parents" was limited. (They felt that at age 35 and 44, it was inappropriate to refer to their heirs as "children.")

We have had this discussion in our house many times. In biblical usage, "children" are descendants regardless of their ages.

I have two adult sons. I maintain that I will always be their mother. Consequently, these fine young men, both in their 20s, will always be my children. -- MICHIGAN MOMMY

DEAR ABBY: Your correspondent, "C.C. in Florida," is misinformed. The story that a Japanese manufacturer marked his products "MADE IN USA" in an attempt to mislead the buyer is not only false, it is a rumor that has been going around for at least a quarter of a century.

This tale was given worldwide publicity when it was published in Reader's Digest back in the 1960s. Your column is so widely read that the letter from C.C. will probably do as much to keep that rumor alive.

Abby, there IS a "Usa," Japan, but it is a tiny village with no manufacturing facilities. A check with the Japanese consulate in Los Angeles should confirm that. Also, no Japanese city has changed its name to "Usa" to mislead people.

Finally, a Japanese product marked "Made in USA" would be in violation of U.S Customs regulations, and would not be allowed into this country. -- JAMES STEELE

DEAR JAMES STEELE: Thank you for setting the record straight. I hope C.C. sees this.

Abby's family recipes are included in her cookbooklet. Send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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