Should I send a birthday gift to grandchild I've never met? Opinions.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Briefly, I have a son I haven't seen in three years or more. My ex sees him now, but he hasn't agreed to see anyone else and he hurt us all really badly. I found out he has a son (my grandchild). I called his cell phone and got his voicemail (he never picks up) and I left a message congratulating him and his wife and said I'd love to see a picture of Nathan. I didn't get any response so I moved on had been hard the first time, but much easier this time. I also told ex not to talk to me about him because it really has nothing to do with me and it hurts me. But I did find out that the baby turned one year old on Saturday. (Ex worships this particular son and has been talking nonstop about him to my other son and my daughter too...and they would like him to quit it also. It was my other son who told me about the birthday, so that's how I found out).

    My dilemma now is, do I send the baby a gift because he's my grandson? I am kind of thinking it's better if I don't. He has a large family on the other side and he has my ex and I'll probably never meet him. And I'm wondering if my wish to do this is just a way of trying to hang onto a son that I no longer have. The child doesn't NEED a son is wealthy and I'm sure he has everything he needs. My other grandson's birthday is Friday and I kind of saved up to get him something nice. I don't have a lot of extra money.

    I'm really not sure what to do, but am leaning toward just continuing to leave things alone. Still, I'm not quite sure...thanks in advance.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I think it's better if you don't send a gift. If you feel the need to send something, send a card addressed to the child without a note or phone call to the parents.

    If sending something knowing it won't be acknowledged is going to flare up your emotions , then in my opinion it would absolutely be best to send nothing at all. You need to look after yourself and this is a situation you have no control over.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm not clear if I remember this correctly or not, so if I get it wrong, you'll have to take that into consideration. What I recall is that you have gone through this several times with birthdays and Christmas' over the past few years, and that at least once you went ahead and sent something and either response you got, or the lack of response, left you unhappy.

    If they object to celebrating birthdays and holidays it would be insulting to them to send anything. If you really want to do it, send them a card and something small, like clothing. You don't know them well enough to pick out a toy or a book. Money is too impersonal. Whatever it is, send it for yourself, not for them. They aren't likely to give you the reaction you want, so you should have no expectations as to how they should feel about the gift. You should prepare yourself to have them send it back, as well. If none of that bothers you, go ahead. Otherwise, perhaps a card should suffice, but don't expect any reaction to the card that is going to satisfy some need in you.

    I realize that they are your family, but honestly, from the other point of view, I cringe and get angry when my mother sends me birthday and Christmas cards. It doesn't ring true and feels more like a stab in the back than a greeting. They're full of false sentiment and don't even make it into the house.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2010
  4. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    MWM, I think your instinct to leave things alone is the right one, especially if a lack of response will lead to further heartache for you.
  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I'm with the others. I would leave it be for now.
  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I don't think it will accomplish anything positive for anyone. I am sorry. That is just my thought on this one.
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Really examine why you feel you need to do this. Who is this for? Is it for you, so you know you haven't let any grandchild out? In which case, give your ex some money or a gift that ex can give to the baby in his name only. YOU will know you gave something and your grandchild will get the benefit. It doesn't matter if nobody else knows.

    Or are you wanting the child to know, and your son, that YOU want to love this new grandchild? In which case, expect that desire to be blocked and rejected. It would not be good for the child in this case, to become an unwitting tool in his father's hands, to continue to hurt you with. Even sending a simple card can lead to ongoing anger and hurt, with your grandchild caught in the middle and wondering (later on - and he WOULD be exposed to enough garbage to wonder) why his mail is monitored, why some people are permitted access and others are not... no, from what you have said of your son, I would stay out of this.

    What you could do, is write letters to your grandchild, but don't post them. Keep them. If the door is ever opened further down the track, you have your record of what you wanted to say.

  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I was going to suggest the same as Marg.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Marg's advice seems very sound.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If there is a lack of response and it won't bother you......... If you're doing this for you and the grandchild and no other underlying reason......I'd say go for it. Hurts no one.

    I send gifts to K's kids knowing at any given time they may lose them due to the family having to relocate or she may need to sell them so they can eat ect. I thought long and hard before deciding to send gifts. I do it for purely selfish reasons. in my opinion that is what a grandparent does for a child living far away. It's between me and K's kids. I have ways of knowing they received them, enjoyed them, knew where they came from. If something happens to the gifts after that......well, at least Kayla, Alex, and Evan knows Nana cared enough she thought about them and sent them things. The rest, like I said, I have no control over.

    Like I said, purely selfish. It makes me happy to forfill my role as Nana regardless of the eventual outcome. So far it's worked out that it makes the kids happy too. (even if it winds up being a short time)

    If you've got an undercurrent of hope going on that it may make your child pull their head out of their fanny and have a relationship with you.......probably not a good idea because you're going to wind up just getting hurt again.

    Hope that makes sense. Not had my first cup of coffee this morning.

  11. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with Marg as well. Even if you send something for your own personal reasons or because you've been taught it's the right thing to do, in my opinion, I think you're only opening yourself up to more hurt and pain over the loss of this relationship with your son. Why do that to yourself? I think you need to refocus on your ongoing efforts to take care of yourself instead of expending energy on this part of your family. I know it's painful and sad, but you've been through this with your son before and you know how it ends. Hugs~
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I haven't read all the responses, so I apologize if this is a repeat, but why not buy a little rubbermaid box and buy your grandson a card or small gift each year, sign it with a note as if your were sending it, seal it up, with his name on it, write the date and the occassion on the outside and put it in the tote?

    When your grandson is older, and can make his own choices, you can send him the box. Or maybe have ex send him the box.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member


    My inclination was not to send anything, but in a way I thought it made me a bad person. I have no idea w why.

    I didn't send anything. If Scott ever calls and wants to initiate contact again then I will get to know his child, but right now I'm going to let things be. Ex told me today that when he talked to Scott it sounded like he WANTED to get in touch, but until he does, I'm not going to do anything else. I don't need another broken heart.

    And, as for his religion, he believes in celebrating holidays.
  14. Dave Furey

    Dave Furey New Member

  15. Dave Furey

    Dave Furey New Member

    You have reached out, don't bother. If they have decided to exclude you from their lives, that's on them. How's this one for size. I have a 32 year old son, married, remarried and remarried back to the first wife. They have two daughters and I have never seen them. They are 4 and 2 ? I think. I have no phone number, address, nothing. He is friends with my youngest son and now some of the family now. Of course, I'm the bad guy to everybody because I should reach out and forgive the past, his past of out of control teenager etc.etc.etc. I have forgiven the past, that's not the problem. I have NOTHING to reach out to and for me it's like a divorce. I have gone through the anger, grief and everything else. IT's THEIR JOB TO INFORM ME THEY HAVE CHILDREN, I didn't have them? If they are not going to introduce the grandchildren to me, THAT'S ON THEM. So to me, I would do nothing else. THEY ARE GROWNUPS NOW! If they don't want to include you in their lives, that's on them!