When you're little, you don't realize how priceless time spent with your extended family is. But as you get older, you start looking back more on your childhood years and call on those fun memories for comfort as you deal with life's stresses. For most of us, friends come and go but it's those family members — siblings and cousins — that continue to form the bedrock of our social support systems as we get older.
But not every extended family is lucky enough to spend vacations and holidays together. Whether it's a physical distance, strained relationships, or economic hardships, some families just aren't able to forge close bonds. One man is wondering how much he should be responsible for ensuring his step-nephew has the same opportunities for family bonding as his son or (blood) nephew.
Jake, Phil, and Mike are all in 8th grade and all play soccer. Jake is OP's son while Mike and Phil are his wife's sister's son and stepson. They also all live in the same school district and see each other a ton, so they're a closely bonded trio already.
Before the boys start high school in the fall, OP found a cool, week-long soccer camp he's sure the boys would qualify for. The only problem? The camp costs $3000. But, the opportunity could help the boys get on the high school soccer team in the fall.
OP and his wife were set to send Jake to the camp. But, due to a recent layoff, OP's sister-in-law can't afford to send Mike and Phil to the camp. She thinks all three of the boys should go to a soccer camp not only closer to home, but that's also 1/4th of the price.
Or, his sister suggested he help pay for his nephews' soccer camp fees.
It's not like OP doesn't have the money. He feels like he should help keep the three boys together this summer. But, he and his wife had already planned to spend extra funds on a lovely adult-only vacation. Tacking on another $3000 — how much he would need to pay to help his sister — would be a lot.
Whether or not it was justified, his sister has been furious at him for choosing his vacation over her stepson's soccer camp. To her, he's a lousy brother and uncle who's only worsening the divide between the boys. She believes that, since Mike is her stepson, there's a rift between the boys that are only going to get worse if they go to separate soccer camps.
OP feels bad for Mike and Phil, but he doesn't think his nephews are his financial responsibility. Plus, the boys are already close. One week apart shouldn't drive a major wedge between them just because they're not all related by blood.
But since his sister is still mad, OP is wondering if he was being selfish for not helping.
His Money, Not Hers
This makes for an interesting and sensitive case as it involves family. However, it seems pretty clear to me that OP is not a bad person, and he cares about his sister's stepson. But he also cares about not going broke while trying to be nice.
People have chimed into the conversion, and they're calling out his sister's entitlement and silly expectations.
“NTA. Since neither your sister nor her stepson are your responsibility, I don't see why you would be AH for having a vacation and sending your child to camp,” u/serenavdrwoodsen wrote. “I'm always surprised at family/friends who think no one should enjoy life just because they can't.”
Well, what do you think OP should do?
This thread inspired this post.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Boloere Seibidor, fondly called B.S. is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics to cover include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She's been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sites. When she's not writing, she's delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.