DEAR MISS MANNERS: Throughout the school year, our daughter is invited to a dozen or so parties for classmates, and we make every attempt to attend them all.
But she is a summer baby. We live in a fairly affluent community, where most people take off for extended vacations in the summer, or sign their kids up for expensive local camps or classes – none of which we can afford.
So, not only does our daughter lose touch with her classmates, but in July, when her birthday rolls around, they are either out of town or enrolled in some kind of activity.
On her seventh birthday this past summer, she was so excited about the prospect of reconnecting with her friends from school, but when only one classmate showed up, she was brokenhearted. I was so brokenhearted for her that I wanted to cry.
I have considered celebrating her next birthday at the end of the school year before classes end to better ensure that she is surrounded by her friends, but I don’t know how this would be received, being that it is not really her birthday.
GENTLE READER: You should know that Miss Manners gets scores of letters from parents bemoaning the fact that they feel an obligation (or it is the school’s mandate) to invite an entire class of children that they are unable to accommodate. They would probably love to trade problems with you.
In any case, parents have to arrange children’s parties according to various scheduling issues all the time; it is the rare birthday party that falls on the actual day. That your daughter’s party will be a month instead of a week earlier should hardly be noteworthy.
Please send your questions to Miss Manners at her website, www.missmanners.com; to her email, firstname.lastname@example.org; or through mail to Miss Manners, Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.
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