Not my finest writing; just getting something off my chest.
Because simplicity, modesty and I haven’t got even a nodding acquaintance, I offered to take Madalyn and some of her friends up to Oklahoma City for an overnight trip, in lieu of a birthday party. We couldn’t do it last weekend because it interfered with trick-or-treating, so this coming weekend is the appointed time.
A week ago I sent out letters to the parents of the four friends she invited. Two of the girls’ parents I have never met before so I sent them a lengthy letter of introduction, basically giving our credentials and stating why we are trustworthy to abscond with their daughters for the weekend. The two girls whose parents I know (and who’ve spent numerous nights with us in the past) received a briefer note outlining our plans. In all four letters I very specifically stated, in closing, that the next step would be for them to call me (number included) and let me know if their girls could attend. I also mentioned that we were more than happy to do the pickup and that they could give me directions to their homes so that I could do just that.
It is now Tuesday. We are three days from the party, and do you think I’ve heard back from a single person? The answer you are looking for would be NO. Now, the one girl, Madalyn’s best friend, I can safely assume is coming, and so not hearing back yet from her mom isn’t a problem. The other girl, who’s stayed with us before, told me herself that she can come “if (she’s) really good this week.” That is fairly open-ended, in my opinion, and also means I guess we won’t know she’s coming until the last minute. And the two others? Haven’t heard a word from them or anyone in a position of authority over them.
I just can’t begin to express how upsetting and RUDE I find this. Let the kid go, say the kid can’t go – whatever. It doesn’t matter to me, just LET ME KNOW. I bent over backward trying to make it easy on people, trying to open the lines of communication and I get no similar courtesy back. Frankly, it really doesn’t take more than a week to decide. You’re going to know if you feel comfortable with this plan within a few days of hearing about it. Maybe they’re embarrassed to call and turn us down. Okay, I get that, too. I’m not a “phone person” and making excuses for something that someone might take personally is hard. Then how about a note, sent through the kid at school? Or how about just having your kid tell mine, “Sorry, my parents said I can’t go”? Something – anything – to let me know where I stand and allow us to plan accordingly. I simply cannot fathom how people can be so unconscientious as to leave me hanging – especially when it’s something so obviously elaborate as this. I get that when you throw a normal birthday party you should expect 90% of the invitees not to RSVP. I don’t agree with it, but I get that it’s the norm nowadays. But I’m offering to take your kid to the city, put her up in a hotel, buy her an expensive dinner, take her to a museum and the zoo (admission paid), and you can’t do me the courtesy of even acknowledging it? It’s not like this is a party with 20 kids coming, so we won’t miss one or two who don’t show.
I’m truly at a loss as to what to do if we get to Friday and I don’t have any official confirmation (i.e. from the parents’ mouths) that these girls can go with us. I feel as though it’s too late to try to pick any alternate guests. There are no other friends of Madalyn’s whose parents I know and I doubt that it would go over well for me to contact people I’ve never met and ask to take their kids away on a couple days’ notice. These four girls she’s asked are the ones she truly wants to come along (in fact, I’d originally said she could invite three but expanded it to four when one good pal was left out). She has been so excited about this since earlier this year when we planned it and I cannot believe that people can be so callous and lax. Again, I understand if people are not comfortable sending their kids on something like this but they need to let us know that instead of leaving everything up in the air and giving my child false hope. Just not saying anything is ten times worse than turning us down flat. How can you not think about how this affects the birthday child?