The importance of birthdays is something that feels unquestioned in the United States. Why wouldn’t you celebrate the day you came into being?
Not everyone gets that luxury, however. Redditor SunTime2 is in a bind over her situation, and asks if she was wrong for celebrating hers.
The original poster’s (OP) situation is a little depressing, and can only be judged on the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
“AITA for celebrating my birthday?”
Her story isn’t a positive one:
“Hello everyone. I’m 13F. I was born in a very poor country. My mom didn’t have great prenatal care so she didn’t know she was having twins until my brother and I were born (she had just wanted a boy).”
“My brother died when he was only a few hours old. My mom got really depressed after that.”
“Because of my brother’s death, we never celebrated my birthday, because it was supposed to be a day of family mourning. My family will have small celebrations for me on other days (usually just going out for ice cream, or other small things), my mom never joined in or anything no matter when we had them.”
“We live in the United States now and birthdays are a way bigger deal here than they were back at my old country. We moved here when I was 7 and ever since then I’ve always wanted a birthday party with balloons and cake and streamers and everything like that.”
“But my mom has always said no because she says I’m being disrespectful to my brother.”
“Where I live you’re allowed to have parties of up to 25 inside, 100 outside. All of my friends were having small parties to celebrate turning into teenagers and I felt really left out that I wasn’t going to get a party.”
“I tried to ask my parents again and they said no (my mom said no and that I was disrespectful for asking, and my dad told me to listen to my mom).”
“I know that it’s not right to be dishonest. But I just really wanted to experience that feeling of having a whole party just for you. So I saved up all of my money from my weekend job and bought a cake and decorations and invitations.”
We can see where this story is going.
“My friend’s family owns a resturant and they agreed to let me use the back room. On my birthday, I spent the morning grieving with my parents and then told them I had to go to a friends house for a school project.”
“I had my birthday party and it was the most amazing time I had ever had in my life. 20 of my friends came and they all got me gifts, and sang to me, there was music and dancing and it was amazing.”
“My parents found out though, because one of my friend’s parents mentioned to my mom when she saw her at the supermarket the next day what a great time my friend had during my party.”
“My mom came home and freaked out. She called me disrespectful, disgraceful, and basically said that she wished my brother had made it instead of me.”
“I’m not allowed to hang out with my friends or go on any electronics except for school work I can use the family computer in the living room so she can see what I’m doing (I’m writing this on a computer in the schools library).”
“I don’t think my mom would be as mad if I had the party another day, and not on my actual birthday, and that’s the only thing I feel bad about. I could’ve had it the day after my birthday instead of the day of and spent the day with my family.
“I just hate spending every single birthday sitting in the dark and not talking or eating while we mourn my brother. I just wanted one year to celebrate. AITA?”
OP may be young, but that doesn’t prevent her from being judged by the commenters on the AITA board.
This is done with one of the following comments:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
It’s a lot to ask for a kid to sacrifice their birthday in the name of mourning. Many couldn’t imagine the pain that OP’s mom experienced, but that’s no excuse to shove her daughter to the side.
OP is NTA.
“OP, you are NTA. And I can’t believe you’re only 13 and having to live like this.”
“You are NOT disrespecting your dead brother. Living your life while he is dead is never disrespectful.”
“What is disrespectful is your MOTHER saying that your own LIFE disrespected your brother. Because she wanted that boy. And it died.”
“Maybe it’s just me, but this seems like a sort of life lesson she should have learned, but she didn’t.”
“Life isn’t fair, but you live with what you have. And you appreciate it, because you didn’t even have to get that. You are not entitled to anything life gives you. And I think a lot of people forget that, because they want to feel like they have some control in their lives.”
“Celebrate your birthday. Live your life the way you want to. Your mom has created what was supposed to be your happy day into a day of sorrow. Don’t let her.” – ShakeSlow
“NTA just because you’re brother died should not mean you are not allowed to live. If anything they should celebrate your life more. That is in no way disrespectful towards your brother.” – Wicked2707
“NTA. As harsh as it may sound, you don’t owe your brother or his memory anything. It sucks that your parents lost a child, but they are forcing their grief on you and robbing you of what most consider to be a series of precious childhood memories (aka birthdays).”
“Your mother has issues, but that’s also not your fault. Fully expect that they’ll continue to deny you this and won’t let you leave the house on your birthday next year.”
“Also, word of advice: You can’t have a full scale party and assume no one will tell your parents. Next time, invite a few friends and have them make up an excuse for their parents. Parents are notorious gossips.” – SolitaryTeaParty
As a matter of fact, people were significantly harsher on the mom for saying a horrible thing to her daughter.
“It also really irks me that OP’s mother basically said that she wished her brother made it rather than her..”
“That’s so messed up.” – TheLightKyanite
“I’m so sorry you have to deal with all this. Your mother is basically punishing you for living when your brother died. She should have found a way to grieve that didn’t involve making you miss out on your birthday.”
“All she’s doing is driving a wedge between the two of you. NTA” – QuixoticLogophile
OP shouldn’t feel ashamed for doing something for herself for once. But our words may be little encouragement.
Her mother needs to work through whatever is causing her to value the memory of her son more than her own daughter.