Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: "Hurt in Sacramento" (Aug. 27) wrote that her sister told her that the only reason she existed was because her dad had been trying for a boy after having three girls. Tell her to trust me — this is a rite of passage.

I am the youngest of three girls. I was told by my middle sister that I was born a boy, and the doctor gave me a shot to make me a girl.

This sister and I fought like cats and dogs when we were young. Finally, when I was 15 and she was 18, we shared a summer together. From that time on we have been the best of friends and would die for each other. I may have endured years of teasing that my parents didn't want me, but the relationship we have now is one I would never trade.

All I needed to know was that my dad loved me no matter what, and growing up I was always attached to my dad's hip — which may be why my sister needed to put me down. To this day I know I am Dad's favorite, even though he would never say so. Please tell "Hurt" not to listen to her older sister. She should listen instead to her heart.

— DADDY'S LITTLE TAURUS

DEAR D.L.T.: Many readers agreed with you that teasing one's sibling is a rite of passage, and that once people mature, the teasing stops. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I, too, am a sibling with three sisters. However, in my case, I came with the "package." I was 11 months old when Dad met my mom and they married. He adopted me, and then they proceeded to have three more daughters. Dad is proud of each of us in our own way. Being the oldest, I reaped most of the benefits of learning all the things he would have a taught a boy — hunting, fishing, house and car repairs, to name a few. To this day I thank him for all he taught me as his daughter.

— CINDY IN SOUTH HAVEN, MICH.

DEAR ABBY: I am a former Marine and, most importantly, I am the proud father of two beautiful, intelligent, respectful and wonderful girls. During both of my wife's pregnancies, the only thing I prayed for was a healthy child.

My brother has two boys, and I pity him because he has never been the guest of honor at a formal tea party or attended a daddy-daughter dance. He has never gone to the aid of a damsel in distress by removing a threatening spider from the room. He has never been asked to judge a beauty contest in his own home. He has never had a chance to sit outside a dressing room and watch while all the girls in his life try on clothes and shoes.

A father loves all his children equally and independently. No two are the same — not even twins. We all say hurtful things that we do not mean when we're fighting. But I guarantee "Hurt in Sacramento" that she and her sister will outgrow the fighting and become best friends.

— PROUD POPPA IN JACKSONVILLE, N.C.

DEAR ABBY: I'm also one of four girls. When my father was asked if he kept having children in order to sire a boy, his response was: "No. We found a good thing and stuck with it!"

— FRAN IN CHICAGO

DEAR ABBY: I have an uncle with five kids — all girls. My father-in-law put it in perspective one day when he said, "Sometimes the daughters come first and the son (in-law) later." He has four sons and a grandson now, and is very proud of his daughters.

If that dad was disappointed by not having a son, he would have been disappointed after the first one — not the fourth.

— RICK S., SUN PRAIRIE, WIS.

DEAR READERS: Today is Veteran's Day. I would like to thank not only our veterans, but also the men and women who are on active duty, for their service to our country.

— ABBY

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.