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by Abigail Van Buren

Journal of Son's Life Is Gift Worthy of Special Occasion

DEAR ABBY: I have been keeping a journal for my son since he was born 22 years ago. I have never missed a single day. I write about him regardless of whether I see him or not. Sometimes I'll jot down a verse I remembered, or something happening in his world or an item of newsworthy information. I have also written my thoughts about his life and decisions.

My dilemma is when I should give these writings to him. I don't want to keep them indefinitely because they are meant for him. He is married and has a son on the way. My inclination is to give him the writings of his life on the occasion of his son's birth. He has no idea I've been doing this, so it will be a complete surprise. I'd appreciate your input. -- BLOCKED WRITER IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR BLOCKED WRITER: What an amazing gift those journals will be. However, allow me to caution you against giving them to your son when his child is born. There will be a lot going on at that time, and you do not want to distract from that momentous occasion. My advice is to wait until his next milestone birthday and present them to him when he's 25. And because you enjoy journaling, consider starting one about your own life then.