Should I feel bad about this?

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My family is a bit out of the ordinary I believe, in that we don’t have a lot of ex’s and extra sets of parents and grandparents and what-have-you.  Which I used to think was normal, but I think now it’s actually a bit ‘abnormal’ to be a single marriage type of family.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that we are this way!  This has shifted a bit now though, as my brother-in-law got remarried (the one who’d been married to my sis who passed away) and his new wife is divorced and has a son from the 1st marriage.  Okay, but here is where it gets sort of…strange.  The ex-husband (who is supposedly a giant, alcoholic loser…but that’s only the ex-wife’s point of view, so it’s hard to know, right?) anyway, he has pretty much full custody of the son, and she has to pay child support.  Like I say, I have no idea what the real story is, so I don’t lose sleep over it…although, this son is a horrid kid (probably not his fault, poor thing) but I do worry about him possibly harming my nieces in some way (they are younger and quite a bit physically smaller than him)…so I’m actually glad he isn’t with them alot.  Now, my b-i-l and wife never seem to know when they will have the son, and so can’t really  plan on him…again, not quite sure how this custody works, because it seems like lots of times they think they will have him, then supposedly the ex-husb. changes his mind….Again, whatever, not my issue, but here is my question…..
 
Last Friday afternoon, my mom called and told me that "possibly" we would be having a birthday party for M. (the son) if he actually came over on Saturday.  Kind of late notice, but alright.  Let us know.  Then I didn’t hear….until 11am on Saturday (and I never was contacted by the actual family, always thru my mom) – that M. did get to come to his mom’s, and they were having a birthday lunch for him at a local restaurant.  (Local for them – they live in a different town, but not terribly far away)  Well, by then we’d made plans, plus we’d planned on taking him a card with a little money in it, but we sure didn’t have enough money to also go out to eat… so, we just sent our regrets with my mom, and we didn’t go.  
 
Part of me thinks, hey, they can’t just expect us to drop everything and come running because they make some last-minute plan.  But on the other hand, if they can’t plan ahead, well, not the boy’s fault, and mostly I don’t want to cause a rift because, even though I am no longer actually related to either of the parents in this scenario, my sister’s kids are still my nieces and nephew (and Kiki’s cousins) and I don’t want to do anything to harm those relationships…. so, should I take over a card for M. to my b-i-l and his wife?  Would that be the right thing to do?
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3 responses »

  1. I think you already know the answer.  Bring the card over or mail it.  Even though the kid is a mess.  He needs to know that he is cared for.  Being raised by an alcoholic is not fun (been there, done that).
     
    You have a big heart.  gail

  2. I would send the card, because you want to.  I would apologize for not being able to go to the lunch, but without a reason… my thinking is that you did nothing wrong here ~ it being another town and last minute and all.  If it were me, I would only end up in trouble if I tried to explain my reasons behind not going and end up with the strained relationships that you are trying to avoid.  It takes strong, unhurting people to see reasons without mean intentions lurking behind every other word, and this family sounds like they are already going through difficult situations.
    How\’s everything else going?  Better I hope (I managed to get one of the twins to take the wreath down and put it away the other day. *snicker*  🙂

  3. Go ahead & send the card to the boy- he\’s not responsible for the disorganization of the adults :P- and don\’t worry about not going to the "party"; people really do understand other commitments.
    I\’m the one with the mixture of inlaws, outlaws & ex-laws, and my ex & I split custody of our two now-adult children (unusual but seems to have worked) It is a mine field, but I\’m fortunate that the ex is a fairly reasonable man & well behaved (he actually hosted Chris for a couple of days on his trip to FL last summer)

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