High school senior classes of 2020 have had it especially rough during the pandemic as they’ve missed out on milestones like attending prom and—most importantly—getting to walk at their graduations with their longtime friends.
But like many disconnected people making the best out of their self-isolation doldrums during the national banning of large group gatherings, graduates found other ways to celebrate their achievements via virtual and socially-distant ceremonies.
Redditor kit-kat315 is a proud mother who planned a small event for her graduating daughter and was not about to let anything else diminish her once-in-a-lifetime achievement with another setback.
But when she encountered a snag, she put her foot down and consequently sparked some family drama.
So the Original Poster (OP) asked the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit community:
“AITA for not sharing my daughter’s graduation day with my nephew graduating preschool?”
The OP described what the party guests were to expect at the small celebration.
“My daughter’s a [high school] senior, and her graduation ceremony is this Saturday. Because of [the virus], it’s a much smaller event, so only parents can attend and the event will be live streamed for other family.”
“We have a pretty small extended family and asked them over for cake and pizza afterwards.”
“When my husband invited his sister, she asked if she could bring an ice cream cake for our nephew (5) because ‘he wants to know if we’re going to celebrate his preschool graduation too.'”
The OP explained what she was afraid would happen.
“I just feel like everyone will be goo-goo about my nephew because he’s so little and cute and it will take the focus off my daughter’s accomplishments.”
“I would never even consider piggybacking on someone else’s celebration like this, it just seems so rude. And we’d be glad to do something for my nephew on any other day.”
“So, my husband called to tell his sister no. She was fakey nice and got off the phone as soon as possible, clearly upset.”
“Then he talked to his mom, who doesn’t understand why we think it’s a problem. My husband went off on her a little, pointing out our daughter missed senior year, prom, college visits, a graduation trip, etc. and a few hours in the spotlight isn’t too much to ask.”
“Are my husband and I being the a**hole here?”
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
“NTA your husband’s reasoning was perfect. Your daughter deserves some recognition without having to share it.”
“Sidenote – preschool graduation is cute for the parents and preschooler but it’s obnoxious to make a celebration out of it.” – TheCookie_Momster
“NTA. This is a celebration of your daughter’s accomplishments, and she deserves to have a day that feels like it’s all about her.”
“Good on you for recognizing that the ‘cute factor’ would be taking attention off your kid on their special day. Also…”
To make another point, the same Redditor quoted the OP before commenting further.
“When my husband invited his sister, she asked if she could bring an ice cream cake for our nephew (5) because ‘he wants to know if we’re going to celebrate his preschool graduation too’.”
“I know that it’s within developmental range for a 5 year-old to have the ability to have and articulate this thought, but I call bullsh*t.”
“This was a pretty blatant manipulation tactic on your SIL’s part; ‘you not telling me no, you’re saying no to a child and that makes him sad.’ Pretty gross.” – EnterTheBugbear
This former teacher explained that high school graduations rank above other commencement ceremonies.
“Retired HS teacher here. Graduation from grade 12 and going off to start your adult life is a truly meaningful event. There is a major change in the graduate’s life.”
“All the other ‘graduations’ at earlier levels are dumb-a**, cutesy-poo twaddle. You are NTA.” – scumpup
“I am a middle school teacher and I second this.”
“Plus, it would actually be a benefit to your nephew for him to learn that there will be more significant events in other peoples lives than what’s going on in his.”
“I have a cousin who still gives her 15yo a present because her 13yo twin brother and sister have a bday. I think sometimes it’s important to celebrate the other people in our lives instead of teaching our young ones to just celebrate themselves.” – elefantstampede
“I was a preschool teacher, and I third this.”
“A preschool graduation is largely for the parents’ enjoyment.” – bluebell435
This Redditor asked whether or not the daughter was consulted.
“It would probably be best to ask the daughter how she feels about sharing the day.”
“Not everybody cares a ton about their graduation ceremonies (hs, college, or whatever), even though they are an important life milestone.”
“If the daughter is okay with sharing part of the day, then there shouldn’t be a problem. But I’m not seeing anyplace where OP describes how her daughter feels about the situation. It really should be left up to the daughter.” – FrauAgrippa
After others expressed the same concern, the OP wrote in an update:
“Some people are wondering what my daughter thinks about all this—of course I asked. She doesn’t want to share the day but didn’t want to ‘be mean’ by saying no, so dad took care of it.”
“Our family has a habit of fawning over my nephew at family gatherings and dropping everything when he wants attention. I get it—he’s little and cute and short attention span.”
“But sometimes it hurts my daughter’s feelings. So I really don’t blame her for not wanting anything that shifts the focus away from her graduation day.”
As far as Redditors were concerned, the OP’s daughter deserved all of the pomp and circumstance exclusively.
Congratulations to all of the high school graduating classes of 2020.