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Should I attend nephew's birthday party?

MontegutMontegut Registered User Posts: 6,122 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Parent Cafe
Just got an invite from late brother's widow to their oldest son's 16th birthday party.

We haven't been invited to the kids' parties for at least the last three years, so this comes as a big surprise.

I know she has a new, serious boyfriend, and I can tell from the evite that he will be attending.

I really don't like going to their parties, as everyone drinks, and it is a totally different crowd than we grew up with.

I'm torn whether I should go for the boys' sake, though, to let him know we are still there for him. Since he's turning 16, he may realize that we were invited and chose not to attend.

The invite also indicates there will be a special surprise. I'm guessing it's either an engagement announcement or a new car for the boy, both of which will be upsetting for us.

Would love some insight on this, advice.

I just feel weird about showing up at a party after not being in his life for the last three years, but worry that he would hold a grudge if we did not come after finally being invited.
Post edited by Montegut on

Replies to: Should I attend nephew's birthday party?

  • Rubytuesday2Rubytuesday2 Registered User Posts: 118 Junior Member
    I think you should go. I have a friend who was widowed when her daughters were 12 and 14. Her eldest daughter just got married, no one from her late husband's family attended.
    She was hurt, her daughter was very hurt.
  • sevmomsevmom Registered User Posts: 7,157 Senior Member
    Montegut, Sorry for the loss of your brother. I would go. You say you have not been in your nephew's life for the last 3 years. Has his mother kept you from seeing him?
  • GottagoworkoutGottagoworkout Registered User Posts: 64 New Member
    Your reasons for not going are kind of silly. Go. Be family. The boy has no father. Might by nice his uncle was there
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,441 Senior Member
    If things have been weird and now they are reaching out, I would go and give it a chance, maybe things are stranger than ever and you keep your distance in the future, but there is also the chance that things could improve from here.
  • martina99martina99 Registered User Posts: 855 Member
    I would go for the boy's sake. The 16th birthday is a milestone, and it would be food for him for sone f his dad's family to be there for him.

    When my S turned 16 I went to a party my ex had for him, which was mostly that side of the family. I brought my D's from my current marriage, and his D from his last marriage was there as well. It was weird but good.
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 16,753 Senior Member
    I'd go. It's for your nephew. Go for him. He'll appreciate it -- if not now, then later.

    Edited to add: Since he's 16, it's also possible that he asked specifically for you to be invited.
  • bkbmombkbmom Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    I say definitely go. My father died when I was young and we ended up getting cut off from his side of the family, not necessarily intentionally. We always regretted losing contact with our cousins, aunts/uncles. It was up to my siblings and myself to reach out when we became adults. We were very much welcomed and we're glad we did but we regret having lost so many years in between.
  • FallGirlFallGirl Registered User Posts: 7,453 Senior Member
    I agree with the others that you should go. It may be awkward, but please put that aside and go for your nephew's sake.
  • NYMomof2NYMomof2 Registered User Posts: 5,948 Senior Member
    I agree with others that you should go, to give the relationship with your nephew a chance, if for no other reason. I certainly understand your not wanting to be with a heavy-drinking crowd, though.

    I'm wondering why you would be upset by an engagement, or by an extravagant birthday gift. It sounds like there is some history here.
  • cartera45cartera45 Registered User Posts: 12,440 Senior Member
    I'm not seeing any good reasons not to attend. There are good reasons to attend.
  • bkbmombkbmom Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Just to add.... as a kid, I never really knew or understood about the background drama between my surviving mother and my father's family. Have to say, my siblings all expressed regret that we didn't have a closer relationship with our father's side of the family. We don't know (or want to) all the behind the scenes drama but it wasn't until we were "adults" that we really acknowledged what we had missed. Had our mom's issues kept us from our father's side of the family? Did our father's family shun us? Were there other things we didn't know? I'm not sure and it doesn't really matter. What I can say is that as a child (like your 16 yr old nephew) we were innocent and clueless. It's up to you do the right thing for your nephew - regardless of what "surprise" there might be. I can't help but think (with the experience and knowledge of my childhood) that if one of my siblings died, they would want me to stay in their child's life.
  • music222music222 - Posts: 183 Junior Member
    I really don't think it will matter one bit if you go or not. I really don't think a 16 year old kid really cares if their aunt or uncle attends their party.

    "I'm guessing it's either an engagement announcement "

    An engagement announcement for who? The kid??
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,857 Senior Member
    NYMomof2 wrote:
    It sounds like there is some history here.

    Yes, it does look like the story is incomplete.
  • Sop14's MomSop14's Mom Registered User Posts: 792 Member
    I really don't think it will matter one bit if you go or not. I really don't think a 16 year old kid really cares if their aunt or uncle attends their party.

    I disagree. Teenagers who lose a parent suddenly see the importance of family in a very different way. And don't think they aren't worried about who will be there for them should something suddenly happen to mom.
  • 3bm1033bm103 Registered User Posts: 4,209 Senior Member
    I totally agree that you should go. He's still your nephew and you should keep that relationship. Even if you're not enthused about staying in touch with your ex SIL. Although I can't understand why you wouldn't want that either. She has to move on with her life. Unless there's more here that you have not explained,.
This discussion has been closed.