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'AITA for asking to take my son, who was raised by my parents, on vacation?' UPDATED

'AITA for asking to take my son, who was raised by my parents, on vacation?' UPDATED


"AITA for asking to take my son, who was raised by my parents, on vacation?"

When I (26F) was 19 I gave birth to a boy named Alex, he's 7 now. I didn't bond with him at all when he was a baby and even though I loved him more than anything, my life was ruined and his would be too. I was failing my classes, I couldn't work and I couldn't afford babysitting. I gave Alex up to my mom and stepdad and they've raised him as their own ever since.

My mom and stepdad took on the role of grandparents and while I wasn't there for Alex as a baby, he knows me as mom which I am so thankful that my mom allowed. Thankfully my parents are tech savvy so I was able to facetime with him every night. My grades went good, I have a degree, a good job and am in a relationship I hope will lead to marriage.

My fiancee Jacques (30 M) knows how important Alex is to me even though he doesn't live with me and isn't being raised by me. My parents still have guardianship over Alex but he's started spending a weekend every month at my place. But we still FaceTime good morning, after school and good night every day. Yesterday, Jacques surprised me with tickets to go with him to his cabin in Ontario for a week.

Jacques really likes Alex and wants to get to know him better. Jacques is really impressed by how smart Alex is and thinks he could get him into the local private school he teaches at. But I'll admit that Alex doesn't really know him even if he's told me thinks he's cool.

I know I can't force love but if Jacques didn't respect my son even if I'm not raising him I never would be with him. But I also don't feel I can get married unless Alex is okay with it either.

So I asked Jacques if he could get a third ticket so Alex could come with us and he agreed right away even though it'd cost more. I called my mom and stepdad and asked if I could take Alex on vacation after Christmas since he'll be off school for the next two weeks.

My mom didn't seem that enthusiastic about it. My stepdad pretty angrily told me that he, my mom and Alex already had plans for that week and that they did not want to cancel them and that he was really upset and hurt by me asking without even thinking they had something going on. He told me to go and sort out my priorities before phoning them back.

I talked to a friend of mine after that who I appreciate for being blunt and she told me it was an a-hole thing to ask because I didn't focus on Alex enough to even know that he and my parents might have plans.

And I've felt super terrible about it since because I don't want to be taking my parents for granted. I told Jacques and he told me I wasn't wrong to ask since I wasn't demanding anything and that my friend was wrong for saying that I was an a-hole but I'm not sure.

Do you think she's being an a-hole? Commenters were divided. This is what top commenters had to say:

peithecelt said:

YTA - but only a teeny tiny bit. You should have asked if Alex was available before just making plans on a time that he wasn't scheduled to be with you. It's not a big deal, you're by no means the biggest ahole I've seen here, but.. you should have asked if he was available from his guardians before you just up and made plans for him.

Peasplease25 said:

NTA for asking at all. I think your parents may be getting worried that you'll want custody of your son if you settle down with your partner.

midnightthrow1992 said:

Doesn't sound like any of you are the aholes in this situation. NAH. There's nothing wrong with you asking as long as you didn't demanding and your parents are not the aholes not wanting to cancel their plans

And tropicaldiver said:

ESH, a tiny bit. Huge props your parents for stepping in. Huge props to you for recognition of where you were in life then and looking out for Alex. And huge props to you for wanting Alex to be an important part of your life.

There are three different realities and you initially focused on only the first one. The first reality is the relationship you are building with Alex, you wanted to further that relationship with him, and Jacques, in a way that was thoughtful as it relates to the trip (not the new school).

Another reality is that of your parents. They have stepped in and essentially served as his parents (I think of him as having three parents). They may have already had plans that were important to them. Or that Alex was super excited about. Or both. They might also have concerns not really knowing Jacques. And the idea of a brand new school? Now we are talking about a very major change for young Alex.

Their concern is that you aren’t thinking of others when came up with this plan. That is both fair and unfair. You were thinking about how you and Jacques can best get to Alex better and have a great time. But you weren’t thinking of the alternative your parents had planned. That would have been a great conversation starter — what do you have planned with Alex?

Finally, Alex. The true innocent in all of this. From his perspective, he might have been super excited about the cabin. Or super disappointed not to spend Christmas with your parents. The idea of a new school might cause great sadness (often) or great excitement (rarely).

An alternative would have been to try and figure out something that involves all five of you. Finally, I encourage individual therapy here. Truly, AITA is not where you want to go for advice on navigating competing views on interactions with the custodians of your child. ETA: I think everyone has positive intentions here.

Since her original post, she shared this sad, but also hopeful, update on the situation:

After I posted I was going to go to my parents and apologize in person but my stepdad came over instead. He took me to the ice cream shop he'd take me to when I was little to talk. I used some of your pointers in our talk. He apologized for making the comment about my priorities and said he was wrong.

He told me how proud he was of how far I've come, how I'm the light of his life and that he'd always stand by me. He told me he and mom were scared I'd try and take custody of Alex since I am finally ready to be a mom and if that's what I want, then he'll support me.

I told him I just want what's best for Alex but my biggest fear is he'll grow up thinking I didn't love him and I want him involved with me and Jacques cause he's the most important thing to me, that I don't feel like I can get married or have more kids unless he's okay with it cause he's my baby.

We agreed to work something out after Jacques and I came back from the cabin. He gave me a big hug and a kiss on the forehead when he dropped me off.

That was the last time I saw my stepdad he had a massive heart attack when we wre at the cabin and he passed. I don't like typing that. I moved back in with my mom and Alex cause I don't want my mom to be lonely or for Alex to feel abandoned.

Since then I've kind of gotten to really be mom, I've been making all Alex's food, dropping him off, picking him up, helping with homework, putting him to sleep, cuddling with him. Everything my stepdad did for me. It's tiring but it's more rewarding than anything and I just wish I could see my stepdad again and ask if I'm doing a good job.

Thankfully my work has provided grief counseling and I'm able to take Alex with me. I think it's helped him more than me cause when my mom put up a photo of when my stepdad first took me fishing and when I saw it when I came home I just broke down crying cause I miss him so much but then Alex came and hugged me and said mommy you don't need to cry.

For my mom I'm going to keep stepping up and be there for her. And for Alex I'm going to try and get stronger than I am so I can be the mom he deserves. Thank you guys for giving me help before. I know things are a bit sad now but I think the future is a bright one and my stepdad always told me to look forward. Thanks.

Sources: Reddit
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