Q: My grandson is about to have his 21st birthday. I asked him what he’d like for his birthday and he said, “Granny, I’ve never taken a cruise. That’s what I would like, even a short one.” I then decided I’d send him, his sister and parents on a cruise. His parents have taken several cruises while he and his sister stayed with me.
Now his parents are saying they don’t want to do that. I can afford to do this, so I guess that’s not reason, but the parents have not told me exactly the reason they don’t want to take a cruise for their son’s birthday. My mindset is “What’s up with that?”
Shall I just back off or ask to have a further conversation with my son and his wife? ~ Dismayed Granny
Dear Dismayed Granny:
One’s 21st birthday will always be a special occasion to celebrate! Your grandson is very fortunate to have such a generous grandmother who will honor his wish and take him on his first cruise – especially your willingness to also invite his sister and parents. What a generous offer!
Whatever the reason these parents declined, it should not interfere with plans to take the cruise. Maybe the parents had plans of their own. If this was the case, perhaps they should plan their own event after you return. Everyone loves a birthday party!
Being a once in-a-lifetime event, the parents should feel blessed that they have such a wonderful and loving mother who obviously loves her family very much. They should wish everyone a bon voyage or, better yet, change their minds and take part!
I hope he has a Happy Birthday.
Andy Gero, VFW Chaplain
How nice of you to want to send your grandchildren on a cruise … a special time for your 21-year-old grandson. Rather than speculate on the reason the parents do not want to take the cruise, why not just ask them for their reason? Then you will get a clear picture of the situation and perhaps come up with a solution that works for everyone.
In your conversation with the parents, speak from your heart. Imagine that it is God talking to God, with love and understanding and openness and non-judgment. No ego or attitude involved. Your thoughts are powerful. Work on a solution. There may be a good reason the parents don’t want to do the cruise.
A short cruise would be a good first experience. Perhaps a family friend or another family member could go as a chaperone. You didn’t mention how old the sister is. Regardless, it would be wise to have an adult the family would be comfortable with to go with their kids. That would give them peace of mind and possibly they would consider that as an option.
Visualize a successful happy outcome for all involved.
Blessings and know that love wins,
Laney Clevenger White, RScP Emeritus
Center for Spiritual Living