Thursday, December 17, 2009


It's really very hard for me to come to grips with this right now, so I'm just going to say it in simple words.

My nephew cannot come to NYC for Christmas.

I am so sad. It was going to be his first Christmas in the big city.

We planned it for months. I had just bought us tickets to the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular show as a special treat.

He cannot come.

He didn't get hurt or anything. He just made a stupid decision to get involved in a fracas at his school -- a verbal exchange, nonetheless. Not your usual playground fisticuffs. Some kids were exchanging insults via Facebook -- I guess that's what tweens do nowadays -- and a parent saw it and was horrified by what the kids were writing to each other.

I have not asked my brother for details. I do not want to know.

I am also horrified. And I'm also angry. A little bit, but definitely angry at my nephew for such poor judgment, and such unexpected and unwelcome behavior. It's not like him.

But kids that age often have a lot more to them then is seen by the adults around them, right?

All I can do is mourn what was lost. Our first big city Christmas together, the lights, the cold, the beautiful shining winter sun in Central Park.

For the past three months all he's been talking about is seeing snow. And I kept telling him it probably wouldn't snow.

Today the weatherman said the forecast for Sunday is snow. And he would have been here with me.

I've never had a family member in the city for Christmas. I've either been alone, or gone south to be with them.

So I guess I'm mourning what would have been his first, and my first. And it would have been a memory we always shared.

And even as I sit here trying to come to grips with this information, my heart bleeds for him. He is going to be absolutely devastated when his dad tells him tomorrow. He worked hard for the whole school year to earn the grades he needed to make this trip.

But I don't see how we can overlook his other behavior. Kids have to learn there are consequences to their actions, right? He has to learn.

This morning as I was rushing to get ready for work he called me and told me a big tale about how he was having problems with some kids at school. He was lying to me, of course. I think he was trying to construct some elaborate problems to explain away what he knew was going to happen later when all the parents found out. He wanted me to call his dad and have his dad pick him up early at school. Escapism starts early, no? I guess he thought if he could stay out of school for the next two days, nobody would find out what was going on until after Christmas.

Are we being too harsh? I don't want to crush his spirit. But I can't see rewarding him with a trip to NYC in the wake of such truly unacceptable behavior.

I can't stand thinking of how he's going to react when his dad tells him the trip is off. I'm so conflicted.

They say that a big part of dealing with weight is to learn to sit with your emotions instead of stuffing them down with food.

I couldn't eat right now if I tried. I think this is the first time in a long time that I have no appetite.


  1. I'm sorry - it's rough that you are (in effect) being punished too. It's so disappointing when you've planned and anticipated and looked forward to. Could you set up some other nice things to do so that you don't feel too sad?

    Peridot x

  2. Of course, without knowing the details, it is hard to know if I think the punishment is too harsh. I guess this is one of those times I would look for an alternative punishment, as good time spent with family is something that we all don't get enough of. That is just my two cents worth.

    That being said, I don't think he should get off scott free either.

  3. That's so sad! :( I was really excited for you guys--it would have been so fun for you to be able to show your nephew the city. It's so frustrating, too, when we (or people we love) shoot ourselves in the foot. I love, though, that you're supporting your brother and not undermining his decision!

    Hopefully they can work something out--I would hate for your nephew to miss this opportunity.

  4. I am so sorry to hear you are heartbroken. Sending you hugs.

  5. SO sorry to hear this -- and I totally relate to how difficult it is to sit with feelings and not eat over them. (My mantra these days is: If hunger isn't the problem, eating isn't the solution.) Hope you can plan some lovely things for yourself, though. beth x