Author Topic: Nephew's birthday Update #99  (Read 14996 times)

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MindsEye

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #75 on: May 13, 2013, 12:36:57 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

I don't know... to me honestly this feels like one of those "If you plan your event without me, then you plan it without me" situations. 

The OP isn't asking her brother to change the date of the party, she is just saying that she cannot attend the party on the date as it currently stands.  Which seems reasonable to me.  If it is that important to the brother that the OP be there at the birthday celebration, then he needs to make an effort to work with the OP's schedule so that she can attend. 

The brother can be as hurt as he wants to be, but I think that he should also acknowledge his responsibility in creating the current situation.  It sounds like he has never given his/his family's relationships with the OP any importance (not visiting, passing through the area and not even making a token effort to drop by, blowing off her invitations to her events, etc) so it seems to me to be rather disingenuous (and self centered) that he is making such a big deal about the OP not being able to visit on this one day.

For the record, I don't see any problem with the OP saying to the brother, "Given that I already visit you several times a year, an afternoon birthday party on X date when you know we have a long-standing commitment is certainly less important to us then spending time with our friends, who we seldom see and one of whom has cancer." 




Two Ravens

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #76 on: May 13, 2013, 12:37:53 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

(My mother felt that outdoor parties were necessary for her own sanity, and thus declared my birthday a movable feast from its normal early-spring date.)

Some families are flexible about "moving" birthday celebrations. Others are not, and are firmly committed to celebrating birthday on the exact day. There have been several heated discussions on this board that I can recall about people refusing to move their celebrations for birthdays and anniverseries.

MindsEye

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2013, 12:46:01 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

(My mother felt that outdoor parties were necessary for her own sanity, and thus declared my birthday a movable feast from its normal early-spring date.)

Some families are flexible about "moving" birthday celebrations. Others are not, and are firmly committed to celebrating birthday on the exact day. There have been several heated discussions on this board that I can recall about people refusing to move their celebrations for birthdays and anniverseries.

Well, and that is fine.  It is the prerogative of the people whose birthday/anniversary/wedding/insert other celebration here to decide how flexible (or not) they want to be with the date.

But they have to realize that they cannot have their cake and eat it too (ha).

If they are not willing to be flexible, then they have to accept that there may very well be people who will never be able to make their celebration on their chosen date.  And then they need to move on with their life instead of brooding over it and moaning about how those people must not love them enough if they won't/can't attend their events...

perpetua

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #78 on: May 13, 2013, 12:49:21 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

But that is not what she is implying. She is implying "a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me then attending a birthday party for my nephew". My sister lives a 7 hours plane trip away. I doubt I will ever go to their birthday parties. But that doesn't mean they aren't important to me - it just means that their parties aren't that important to me.

Yes, I understand perfectly what she said, but what *I* am saying is don't be surprised if the brother reads into that that her holiday will always be more important to her than her family. It's a very easy leap to make.

Shoo

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2013, 12:50:23 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

But that is not what she is implying. She is implying "a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me then attending a birthday party for my nephew". My sister lives a 7 hours plane trip away. I doubt I will ever go to their birthday parties. But that doesn't mean they aren't important to me - it just means that their parties aren't that important to me.

Yes, I understand perfectly what she said, but what *I* am saying is don't be surprised if the brother reads into that that her holiday will always be more important to her than her family. It's a very easy leap to make.

It's not an easy leap for people who don't believe their kids are the center of the universe.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #80 on: May 13, 2013, 12:52:37 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

But that is not what she is implying. She is implying "a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me then attending a birthday party for my nephew". My sister lives a 7 hours plane trip away. I doubt I will ever go to their birthday parties. But that doesn't mean they aren't important to me - it just means that their parties aren't that important to me.

Yes, I understand perfectly what she said, but what *I* am saying is don't be surprised if the brother reads into that that her holiday will always be more important to her than her family. It's a very easy leap to make.

If her family wasn't important to her, she wouldn't visit them at all.

Two Ravens

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #81 on: May 13, 2013, 01:18:09 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

(My mother felt that outdoor parties were necessary for her own sanity, and thus declared my birthday a movable feast from its normal early-spring date.)

Some families are flexible about "moving" birthday celebrations. Others are not, and are firmly committed to celebrating birthday on the exact day. There have been several heated discussions on this board that I can recall about people refusing to move their celebrations for birthdays and anniverseries.

Well, and that is fine.  It is the prerogative of the people whose birthday/anniversary/wedding/insert other celebration here to decide how flexible (or not) they want to be with the date.

But they have to realize that they cannot have their cake and eat it too (ha).

If they are not willing to be flexible, then they have to accept that there may very well be people who will never be able to make their celebration on their chosen date.  And then they need to move on with their life instead of brooding over it and moaning about how those people must not love them enough if they won't/can't attend their events...

I don't disagree. I was just responding to the notion expressed that "Oh, of course the party date can be changed!!" For some families, that would be akin to deciding to celebrate Christmas in April and Thanksgiving in July.

In my family, you had your family party of the day of your birthday. No exceptions. If you made other plans for that day, (like deciding to go out with friends, or whatever), well, you just didn't get a birthday cake that year....

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #82 on: May 13, 2013, 01:50:31 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

But that is not what she is implying. She is implying "a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me then attending a birthday party for my nephew". My sister lives a 7 hours plane trip away. I doubt I will ever go to their birthday parties. But that doesn't mean they aren't important to me - it just means that their parties aren't that important to me.

Yes, I understand perfectly what she said, but what *I* am saying is don't be surprised if the brother reads into that that her holiday will always be more important to her than her family. It's a very easy leap to make.

If her family wasn't important to her, she wouldn't visit them at all.

I agree.  I also think that visits that happen during a birthday party are not really quality time, because the child is focusing on presents and friends and all the party hoopla.  Then (especially when the child is very young) they're tired from their big day.  So unless the OP makes the visit last several days, she'd be traveling for seven hours just to get brief period of time with her nephew.

I really think that if the OP wants to spend time with her nephew, the way she does it is the way that will make her closer to him.  A few minutes at a birthday party does not compare with an extended visit.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #83 on: May 13, 2013, 01:54:14 PM »
And, to be honest, why *couldn't* the birthday party move? If he really wants them there, could the party not be held on a day close to the birthday, but still allowing them to come? If it's that important to Brother, surely a few days one way or another wouldn't matter?

Well, if you turn that the other way around, you'd end up with a question like 'My sister has asked me to move the date of my son's birthday celebrations to accommodate her yearly holiday' and I can imagine the kind of responses that would get.

I can sort of see where the brother is coming from. While there are logistical things in play here that affect attendance, it does seem like the OP is implying 'a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me than my nephew', so I can understand the hurt. That, rather than non attendance at this year's party, is what the brother is reacting to.

But that is not what she is implying. She is implying "a holiday with my friends will always be more important to me then attending a birthday party for my nephew". My sister lives a 7 hours plane trip away. I doubt I will ever go to their birthday parties. But that doesn't mean they aren't important to me - it just means that their parties aren't that important to me.

Yes, I understand perfectly what she said, but what *I* am saying is don't be surprised if the brother reads into that that her holiday will always be more important to her than her family. It's a very easy leap to make.

If her family wasn't important to her, she wouldn't visit them at all.

I agree.  I also think that visits that happen during a birthday party are not really quality time, because the child is focusing on presents and friends and all the party hoopla.  Then (especially when the child is very young) they're tired from their big day.  So unless the OP makes the visit last several days, she'd be traveling for seven hours just to get brief period of time with her nephew.

I really think that if the OP wants to spend time with her nephew, the way she does it is the way that will make her closer to him.  A few minutes at a birthday party does not compare with an extended visit.

If I recall correctly, it takes NutellaNut two days to make  the trip.

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #84 on: May 13, 2013, 02:04:52 PM »
If her family wasn't important to her, she wouldn't visit them at all.

I agree.  I also think that visits that happen during a birthday party are not really quality time, because the child is focusing on presents and friends and all the party hoopla.  Then (especially when the child is very young) they're tired from their big day.  So unless the OP makes the visit last several days, she'd be traveling for seven hours just to get brief period of time with her nephew.

I really think that if the OP wants to spend time with her nephew, the way she does it is the way that will make her closer to him.  A few minutes at a birthday party does not compare with an extended visit.

If I recall correctly, it takes NutellaNut two days to make  the trip.

Two days' travel is definitely too much for a birthday party.  And birthday parties for little ones can be so overwhelming.  I really don't think nephew will lose out by not having the OP at his party.  I really believe other visits would be more useful for building a relationship.  My daughter doesn't remember who was at her parties, but she certainly remembers when her aunts or uncles came to visit.

*inviteseller

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #85 on: May 13, 2013, 06:14:09 PM »
If you ask either of my DD's who come to their big parties every other year (not just family cake and ice cream shin digs) I guarantee you they will mention their friends first, if they can remember.  My younger DD didn't realize that my sister was barely at her last party (had to take care of some pressing issues and was there for a few minutes in the beginning and for a little bit at the end).  My sister is Abby's world and she was unaware because she was focused on her friends.  And so what if OP takes vacation every year at the same time as the party?  That may be the only week that works for her and her DH's schedule and I know, as much as I love my relatives, vacation would come before anything other than wedding or funeral.

kherbert05

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #86 on: May 13, 2013, 07:21:25 PM »
I'm Texan born and raised. I often drive 3 hours to Austin do something with my cousins drive home that night.

To get Mom to Thanksgiving and Christmas - I used to drive 5 hours to Kerrville get a room sleep get up drive 3 hours to San Angelo. Get out of the car - run to the restroom put mom's suitcases in the car and drive 7 -8 hours back to Houston in little over 24 hour span (I would leave about 2 pm Friday get back to Houston between 4 - 6  pm Saturday).

You all know how involved I am with my Nieces and nephew.

I wouldn't drive 7 hours for a kid's birthday party.

Your brother is being unreasonable. I would address - I can't drive 14 hours in 1 weekend instead of I'm going to friend's vacation home.
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Dr. F.

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #87 on: May 13, 2013, 07:57:14 PM »
My Aunt/Uncle/Cousins on my Mom's side lived about 3 hours away; my Dad's were about 6 hours away.

None of them ever appeared for my or my sister's b-day parties and I never went to my cousins'. However, we visited them and they visited us during summer breaks and over the holidays, and I'm still fairly close with all of them. So, refusing to go to a 4-year-old's birthday party is not the same as refusing to have a relationship with said child.

Now, if this were a 16th or 18th (or whatever) huge shindig and it was important for the kid for Aunt and Uncle to attend, that would be a different issue. However, that's at least a solid 10 years in the future. I'm sure that if something like that appears on the horizon, the OP may be able to do some sort of work-around. A 4th birthday doesn't strike me as nearly as important.

JenJay

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #88 on: May 13, 2013, 08:14:47 PM »
I think it's unfair of your brother to play the "but it's for the child!" guilt trip.

The bottom line is that you don't want to travel 7 hours each way to visit him at that time. It doesn't matter why, you can't make it. He doesn't make the drive to visit you, so he has no right to try to guilt you into making it to see him. Period. The fact that you occasionally DO make the trip, and that he has actually made the trip as well and NOT stopped to see you, just makes it worse.  :-\

If he continued to harp I'd say "Listen, I love you and I love Nephew, but I cannot make a 14 hour round trip for a birthday party. Not for anyone. I could give you a list of valid reasons but my saying so should be enough. I thought you'd be more understanding considering you've only come to see me X times in Y years, including all the times you drove right by MyTown on your way home from OtherTown." Then I'd just let that sit there and hoped he absorbed it.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2013, 08:17:00 PM by JenJay »

sammycat

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Re: Nephew's birthday
« Reply #89 on: May 13, 2013, 08:53:49 PM »
The OP isn't asking her brother to change the date of the party, she is just saying that she cannot attend the party on the date as it currently stands.  Which seems reasonable to me.  If it is that important to the brother that the OP be there at the birthday celebration, then he needs to make an effort to work with the OP's schedule so that she can attend. 

The brother can be as hurt as he wants to be, but I think that he should also acknowledge his responsibility in creating the current situation.  It sounds like he has never given his/his family's relationships with the OP any importance (not visiting, passing through the area and not even making a token effort to drop by, blowing off her invitations to her events, etc) so it seems to me to be rather disingenuous (and self centered) that he is making such a big deal about the OP not being able to visit on this one day.

For the record, I don't see any problem with the OP saying to the brother, "Given that I already visit you several times a year, an afternoon birthday party on X date when you know we have a long-standing commitment is certainly less important to us then spending time with our friends, who we seldom see and one of whom has cancer."

To expect her to ruin her entire holiday schedule every single year is really outrageous.

To expect her to ruin her entire holiday schedule *even once* for a child's birthday is also outrageous, IMO.

Personally, I'd consider expecting *anyone* to travel 7 hours for a child's birthday party to be showing signs of self-centeredness.

POD to all of these.

Aside from my own children's wedding/funeral/milestone events, I wouldn't drive 7 hours for anyone for anything.