DEAR ABBY: I have waited 36 years to marry. Most would say I was the quintessential bachelor. When I was younger, I never thought I'd date anyone with a child. I didn't want to deal with the "baggage" I thought came with dating a single mother.
Needless to say, I have been dating a delightful woman who has a 4-year-old son with whom I get along great. We've dated for a year and a half, I love her, and it's time I propose.
The three of us are a little team, and I'm wondering, when I ask her to marry me, should I involve her son and buy something for him -- and if so, what? I was thinking of a custom-made charm for a chain (remember, he's only 4). I would like it to be something he can keep with him the rest of his life. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. -- BACHELOR IN DOVER, N.H.
DEAR BACHELOR: Your sentiments are endearing. Because you are a "team," it would be wonderful to involve the child in the proposal. You might include him in the "surprise" for his mother, or even propose becoming a family to both of them.
However, at 4, the boy is too young to entrust with a piece of expensive jewelry -- and by the time he would be old enough to wear and appreciate it, a charm might not be in fashion, so I don't recommend it. The promise of your love and support is gift enough.