My son spent about a week with me this month. It was awesome. During the course of his visit he asked if I’d be visiting him for his birthday. Cue guilt. His birthday was a week after our visit. It didn’t occur to me to save money and plan for a visit the week after a visit.
When planned appropriately I can get a plane ticket to see him from my new (and temporary city) to his city for less than $90 each way. Finding out he would like me to be present on his birthday a week before said birthday increased plane tickets to closer to $300 each way. My fellowship stipend only gets paid 8 months a year and my husband is a teacher who also doesn’t get paid during the summer. Our budget doesn’t allow for an extra $600 during the summer. This year because tutoring wasn’t as lucrative as in past years we actually had to borrow money for summer rent (we live in the 3rd most expensive city in the country to rent in but again it’s temporary).
I feel AWFUL that I won’t be with him for his birthday. I mean I *always* feel awful about not being with him for his birthday, but this year is the first year he’s ever asked me if I’d be there. In fact it’s the first time he’s ever inquired about seeing me EVER. And I had to say no.
I don’t like saying no to him about anything, but about a visit. on his birthday. My heart broke into a million billion pieces.
I did immediately search for his school calendar and compare it to my school calendar and plan a visit for Indigenous People’s Day Weekend. But I still feel seven shades of awful.
But I have learned and next year I will be there for his birthday.