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WWYD Harry Potter or vacation w/ dad?? - Page 3

post #41 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izobelle View Post
"Also, it's bizarre to me that on learning from you that the trip coincided with the release party, Dad didn't automatically do some checking to see about release-parties near the vacation-spot. To me, that's what an in-tune parent would do. ."

I just have to say, that there are millions of us who had no idea that they were having Harry Potter release parties, or that even if one person might have one, that these are a nationwide phenomenon. So I don't think that it's particularly disrespectful not to go out and find one.

The dad in this situation might have thought it was a private party, not a public event. I'm just speculating but I was surprised myself to see that they were having release parties. Odd.
You're right, I was being rather hard on the dad for not looking into the possibility of other release parties. It might not have occurred to me to think of that, either.

I think I just reacted to the OP's statement, that this Dad would likely ruin it for his son by telling him what happened before he'd had a chance to read it himself. It's hard to imagine anyone thinking that was okay --

but, being a bookworm, it's hard for me to imagine anyone thinking the purpose of reading is just to get a synopsis of what happened. I guess there really are people out there who are satisfied just knowing enough to converse about popular books, and don't necessarily want to live and breathe the story.

Quote:
But then, I read half of the first book before I put it down, utterly bored and disappointed. I have to say that if my kid chose the book over me, I'd feel really, really hurt, even though I could understand how a child could get caught up in all that hype.
I don't see it as choosing the book over his dad: it's not like Dad's in the hospital drawing his last breath, and he's saying the release party matters more than getting to see his dad one last time.

It's not the son's fault that the dad chooses to live four hours away. And I'm not saying it's wrong for him to live where he lives. I just don't think it's fair to expect any extra "sacrificing" from the child, just because the parents don't live in close proximity to one another.

And from the OP, it doesn't sound like the dad is playing these kinds of games with his son -- but if anyone IS, then it's wrong.
post #42 of 122
I say HP party. For one thing, it's what your son wants to do. And I would be personally very very upset and bitter if something I had looked forward to for a long time was taken away and over-ruled for something else. And while Grandma sounds perfectly nice if overbearing, it also sounds like this vacation was kinda short notice (i.e. not planned and anticipated for a long time) if the phrasing was "next Friday." I agree you should call and apologize profusely; I'm terrible with dates and am always screwing them up, but it was your mistake. But your son shouldn't have to pay the price. And really, if he was forced to do this, I think in the long run it might damage his relationship with his father (and you)
post #43 of 122
i wouldn't make him go since it is his decision. say you are sorry but you forgot you already had plans end of story
post #44 of 122
unless this visit with dad is court-ordered, you need to honor your previous plans to your son.
post #45 of 122
"I don't see it as choosing the book over his dad: it's not like Dad's in the hospital drawing his last breath, and he's saying the release party matters more than getting to see his dad one last time."

The book's not going to disappear at 12:01, either. The child prefers to spend time reading the book with his mom than vacationing with his dad. That's it. It is a preference. It is a choice. It might not sound nice, but that's what he prefers, and that's what he chooses. He'll never be 11 and have the chance to go to the Ozarks again with his dad (an opportunity many kids would dream of).

"I just don't think it's fair to expect any extra "sacrificing" from the child, just because the parents don't live in close proximity to one another."

I guess that's where I see this differently. Is it such a huge sacrifice to put off reading a book for a week while you spend time with your family? It's just a book, but family is people.

Again, I would respect my son's decision. But I would be hurt. I think that the media has put up this hype surrounding this particular series, but that in the end, it's a fictional story with fictional characters, and we as people should prioritize real people.
post #46 of 122
izobelle - Shouldn't the experience with mom be a priority, too? It's not as though dad's the only parent who it's important for the child to have unique experiences with.

Hype or not, it's a really big deal for some people specifically because they love the stories and the communal experience of being around hundreds or more of other fans. Kind of like a concert for the band you've loved for years and years and never seen.

Anyway, I don't see this trip as such a rare occurence. Maybe he'll never again be 11 and go to the Ozarks, but he may be 12 or 13 and go to the Ozarks.
post #47 of 122
Quote:
Now my son doesnt want to go on this trip that he didnt particularly want to go to in the first place.
Well there you go. He doesn't want to go. You had plans already. Sounds like they go on vacations together all the time. I say book party.
post #48 of 122
Dragonfly, absolutely, the experience with mom is important. However, I do think that if we are talking about his seeing his dad once per month (and it's not clear what the visitation schedule is, but that's what it sounds like), then don't you think that you would prioritize dad when he comes by?

"Hype or not, it's a really big deal for some people specifically because they love the stories and the communal experience of being around hundreds or more of other fans."

I am not denying that it's a really big deal, especially to an eleven-year-old who has his heart set on it. BUT- it doesn't change the fact that if it were my child who chose a communal celebration of a fantasy novel over spending time with me on a special trip I'd planned, I would still be hurt.

"Maybe he'll never again be 11 and go to the Ozarks, but he may be 12 or 13 and go to the Ozarks."

And he could read Harry Potter next week with his mom when he gets back. I simply do not see the whole Harry Potter experience as something that is intrinsically valuable to a child's development. Being part of a communal celebration of a commercial enterprise to me is not an ideal thing to get all excited about. I have done it, don't get me wrong, but if there's anything about my life that I regret, it's standing in line for hours to see the premier of the Star Wars re-release so that I could be "first" and "part of the phenomenon". Or no. It was the purchasing of New Kids on the Block merchandise. Granted, Harry Potter is way better than NKOTB (wasn't it awful when they took up just the initials of the name? ugh) by any measure. But you get the picture. I just don't think something is special because millions of people around the world are doing it. And the book, in and of itself, can be read at any time. You don't have to be first to enjoy it.

He didn't ask me. He wants to do Harry Potter. Again I say that I would respect that but that he should tell his dad and that mom should tell Grandma.
post #49 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izobelle View Post
"I don't see it as choosing the book over his dad: it's not like Dad's in the hospital drawing his last breath, and he's saying the release party matters more than getting to see his dad one last time."

The book's not going to disappear at 12:01, either. The child prefers to spend time reading the book with his mom than vacationing with his dad. That's it. It is a preference. It is a choice. It might not sound nice, but that's what he prefers, and that's what he chooses. He'll never be 11 and have the chance to go to the Ozarks again with his dad (an opportunity many kids would dream of).

"I just don't think it's fair to expect any extra "sacrificing" from the child, just because the parents don't live in close proximity to one another."

I guess that's where I see this differently. Is it such a huge sacrifice to put off reading a book for a week while you spend time with your family? It's just a book, but family is people.

Again, I would respect my son's decision. But I would be hurt. I think that the media has put up this hype surrounding this particular series, but that in the end, it's a fictional story with fictional characters, and we as people should prioritize real people.
its not just putting off reading the book - this is the last hp book this will never happen again and it is one of those things a child will remember all his life.
post #50 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izobelle View Post
Granted, Harry Potter is way better than NKOTB (wasn't it awful when they took up just the initials of the name? ugh) by any measure.
what do you mean i <3 NKOTB!!! : la la la la la la tonight.......
post #51 of 122
"this is the last hp book this will never happen again and it is one of those things a child will remember all his life."

Well now this is getting to be a debate about Harry Potter so I guess we need to stop here but I will just say that I disagree. The book is not likely to go out of print for a long time, so what the once-in-a-lifetime chance is about is the community of celebration of the commercial event. It's not about a book: the book can be read at any time, unless they ban it or something. It's about being in the right place at the right time with the right people, meaning, Harry Potter party, release date, other fans.

Okay, I've said my piece on this. I don't want to derail the thread with a debate on commercialized novels.
post #52 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izobelle View Post
"this is the last hp book this will never happen again and it is one of those things a child will remember all his life."

Well now this is getting to be a debate about Harry Potter so I guess we need to stop here but I will just say that I disagree. The book is not likely to go out of print for a long time, so what the once-in-a-lifetime chance is about is the community of celebration of the commercial event. It's not about a book: the book can be read at any time, unless they ban it or something. It's about being in the right place at the right time with the right people, meaning, Harry Potter party, release date, other fans.

Okay, I've said my piece on this. I don't want to derail the thread with a debate on commercialized novels.
fair enough
post #53 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izobelle View Post
Dragonfly, absolutely, the experience with mom is important. However, I do think that if we are talking about his seeing his dad once per month (and it's not clear what the visitation schedule is, but that's what it sounds like), then don't you think that you would prioritize dad when he comes by?
But WHY does he only get to see his dad once per month? Isn't it because Dad chooses to live four hours away?

This thread isn't about whether it's right or wrong for Dad to do this -- but isn't Dad's choice a statement that something else is more important to Dad than being a daily fixture in his son's life, available for all the little moments that just happen and can't be planned in advance?

Quote:
He didn't ask me. He wants to do Harry Potter. Again I say that I would respect that but that he should tell his dad and that mom should tell Grandma.
Dad already knows. According to the OP, Dad's mainly just worried about Grandma's reaction.

And I fail to see how Dad, or Grandma, should be hurt because the son had already made plans, and Mom just got mixed up and agreed to other plans at the same time. I could see annoyance (though IMO an occasional over-sight is understandable) and disappointment that he already had a prior engagement. But not hurt.

Of course, people have a right to feel hurt if they choose. I just don't think it would be fair for the son to get guilted because his mama made a boo-boo.

I still recall the weekend my sister had big plans to take my brother and me to an amusement park. We were so excited. At the last minute, Dad said, "Oh, I forgot and told Mom and Dad the kids could spend Saturday night with them." My dad decided Grandma and Grandpa wouldn't mind too much if my brother wasn't there, just so long as they still had me.

When I cried at the unfairness, Dad said, "Fine, you can go -- but YOU have to be the one to call and tell Grandma you're not coming." After hearing Grandma start to cry as she told me how she'd been preparing all my favorite foods, I decided to sacrifice and go be with my grandparents.

It was a gloomy weekend; my grandparents kept saying, "We know you'd rather be at the amusement park, you really don't want to be here..." -- so, though I gave up my plans to avoid feeling guilty, since I couldn't fake being happy about it, I got guilted bigtime anyway.

I agree that people come first. I just don't see how the dad's been putting his son first in his own life -- not that I claim to know the situation, maybe it really is best for him to live four hours away. It just seems so artificial when our children are often "along for the ride" with many of the choices we make about where to live and how to live our lives --

to then say, "Since he only gets to see his dad once a month" -- as if it's on the son to see to it that the relationship gets nurtured.

Edited to Add: I just re-read the OP, and realized the dad wasn't happy either -- so I changed my comment where I said Dad was cool with it. I still don't see Dad's unhappiness about Mom's oversight as their son's problem.
post #54 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izobelle View Post
The book's not going to disappear at 12:01, either. The child prefers to spend time reading the book with his mom than vacationing with his dad. That's it. It is a preference. It is a choice. It might not sound nice, but that's what he prefers, and that's what he chooses.
its not just a book and it is not just reading. it is an event. the last of the big release parties. reading the book is the sprint at the end of a marathon!!! This is about something him and his mother have been counting down to. This is something he has been looking forward to for a year. the vacation he was luke warm about from the beginning.

and i agree, this is what happens when you move 5 hours away from your kids. They *gasp* get a life and you are not a priority in it. As I grew up and my friends became important and stuff like this became important my dad just wasn't, he was this distant guys who drug me away from my life every now and then. and it really ticked me of when he started expecting me to cancel plans because he wanted to waltz in and play daddy. and because he didn't make my life, even the little stupid things that were none the less important to me, a priority to him i stopped with annoying visits as soon as possible. I also made life miserable for him when he drug me away from where i would rather be. of course he always thought "can't you just do this later? won't there be other ________? its just a little ___________ . .aren't i more important?
post #55 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I still feel bad about him not going though, esp since i know that "grandma" is going to be upset, probably offer to fly him down there on saturday...luckily i will be out of reach all weekend, no cell phone, no computer, so she cant call me begging.

We (son, myself, son's dad)have already been to TN once, years ago, and going again is possible. My son has been lots of places...sometimes just with his dad, sometimes with his dad and grandma, sometimes with my family, and sometimes with just his dad and me. He's been on vacation more with his dad and grandma than even me i think. San Fransisco, LA, FL, Mackinac Island, Chicago, MO several times, London, Paris, DC...i'm probably forgetting a bunch. So i'm sure my son views getting the last HP book as way more 'once in a lifetime' than vacation with grandma which will probably happen again next year (actually undoubtedly happen)...

Anyway, thanks again!
Katherine
This part I don't get. If grandma is likely to want to help work around the release party, even to the extent of flying him to the family vacation the day after, why would you make yourself unreachable?? That doesn't seem fair to me at all.

Obviously you don't like her, but you made plans, they worked around you, it's your son's family, and there's no reason to play games like that, in my opinion. I'm sure you wouldn't like it if your son's dad told you that, for example, he'd have your son back to you in time for you to do some other activity, then just informed you flat-out that there'd been a change, and refused to discuss a compromise...
post #56 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammastar2 View Post
This part I don't get. If grandma is likely to want to help work around the release party, even to the extent of flying him to the family vacation the day after, why would you make yourself unreachable?? That doesn't seem fair to me at all.
I got the impression the OP wanted to be unreachable TO ALL, all weekend, so she and ds could fulfill their plans of devouring the whole book cover to cover -- before getting back in touch with the outside world and possibly hearing spoilers.

This weekend wasn't just about going to the press release and getting the book: it was also about reading the book, getting to fully enjoy not knowing what happens 'til you read it and get to experience it yourself.

I can fully understand how Grandma calling and begging could interfere with their enjoyment of the weekend. Also, their unreachableness will give Grandma the freedom to let it go and enjoy her vacation, rather than ignoring the family she has with her to call and harass the OP and her son.

She should thank the OP for that gift!

(Anyone who'd hard-pressure a mother to send her 4yo on a trip to another country-- seems like she needs a little help "accepting the things she can not change," with serenity, and moving on with her own life.)
post #57 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by izobelle View Post
Dragonfly, absolutely, the experience with mom is important. However, I do think that if we are talking about his seeing his dad once per month (and it's not clear what the visitation schedule is, but that's what it sounds like), then don't you think that you would prioritize dad when he comes by?
I really don't. For one thing, as others have already said, his dad chooses to live 4 hours away. That's his choice and it has its implications. Second, as a single mom who takes care of almost all of the day-to-day for my son, I can tell you that special occasions/events we have together are just as big a deal for us as those he has with his father. Why? Because when he hangs out with his dad, it's almost all about fun experiences. When he hangs out with me, it's the daily grind. Not exactly what memories are made of! When we get the chance to step out of our routine and do something fun and memory-making, it's extremely exciting and important, despite the fact that we spend a lot of time together.

Honestly, I think this should be a really easy one for dad to get over. I know ds' dad would have no trouble with it. Just as I would have no trouble changing plans if he had the opportunity for a truly once in a lifetime event with his dad, provided that event were really important to him.

Quote:
And he could read Harry Potter next week with his mom when he gets back. I simply do not see the whole Harry Potter experience as something that is intrinsically valuable to a child's development. Being part of a communal celebration of a commercial enterprise to me is not an ideal thing to get all excited about.
To you. It's obviously important to this child. And I'd submit to you that anytime a child is passionate about something that isn't intrinsically harmful (i.e., drugs, driving 200mph down the freeway, etc.), it's important to his/her development. I mean, any outsider would say that it wasn't a big deal for me to go that first amazing Jane's Addiction concern when I was 15. But I had anticipated it for months, it was my first concert, I loved Jane's Addiction. Sure, I'd go on to see them a few more times, but that first concert is still one of my best memories. I think it was very important to my development as a person.

I understand the "damn the evil commercial empire" mindset, but it's not about commercialism for many of these kids. These are wonderful stories that kids get excited about - just as people get excited about other literature. It stokes their imaginations. That's never a bad thing, IMO, even if there's commercialism that goes along with it.
post #58 of 122
lets take harry potter out of the equation. it doesn't matter if it is a jump-rope-a-thon or an upside down under water basket weaving contest. it is important to him, more important than a week in the boonies, it is something he has been planning for a year. thats all that matters. it really doesn't what he is doing or if it is important to anyone else.
post #59 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
He wants to stay here. His dad offered to find a bookstore in TN and get the book for him and everything, but as my son said "its not the same"....
It's not about the book. It's about the experience with you, his mom. In my mind, this is a vacation of sorts (you and him away from the rest of the world -- that's a definition of vacation, right?) that you have been planning for a year. It's unfortunate that it conflicts with this other, more recently planned vacation, but it sounds like your ds really values this opportunity to be with you for the weekend, reading and hanging out and talking about the book. (For the record, my two older children and I have the exact same plans, so I'm clearly a little biased!)

Tell ds he can stay home. Tell the ex that you are very sorry, you made a mistake in the dates. Tell grandma that you have a prior vacation planned that you had forgotten to note on the calendar. Yes, they might be mad or hurt or whatever. They are grown ups and they'll get over it. And your ds will see that you struggled with the decision, that you do value his time with his father and extended family, but that this is important to him so you chose him.
post #60 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by snuggly mama View Post
It's not about the book. It's about the experience with you, his mom. In my mind, this is a vacation of sorts (you and him away from the rest of the world -- that's a definition of vacation, right?) that you have been planning for a year. It's unfortunate that it conflicts with this other, more recently planned vacation, but it sounds like your ds really values this opportunity to be with you for the weekend, reading and hanging out and talking about the book. (For the record, my two older children and I have the exact same plans, so I'm clearly a little biased!)

Tell ds he can stay home. Tell the ex that you are very sorry, you made a mistake in the dates. Tell grandma that you have a prior vacation planned that you had forgotten to note on the calendar. Yes, they might be mad or hurt or whatever. They are grown ups and they'll get over it. And your ds will see that you struggled with the decision, that you do value his time with his father and extended family, but that this is important to him so you chose him.
Yes, to all of the above! Have fun this weekend!
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