DEAR AMY: My fiance and I are planning to get married over Memorial Day weekend. It'll be a relatively small family-oriented affair -- held in the same location as my father's memorial last year. My older sister is in my wedding party. She and her husband have been together most of my life (they married when I was 9 years old). My sister informed me yesterday that her husband and my 12-year-old nephew may need to miss most of the festivities because he has a baseball tournament that weekend. They also missed my father's memorial for the same reason. Amy, I understand that guests have other priorities, but I feel incredibly hurt that such a special occasion is being trumped by a baseball tournament. I feel it's teaching my nephew skewed priorities. I come from a family of athletes; I understand juggling practice and playing with other priorities. Should I address this directly or accept it? I don't want to be an egocentric bride, but this hurts. Please share your perspective.
-- Disappointed Bride
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: My perspective is that when tournaments take place over traditionally family-oriented holidays like Memorial Day, kids learn that when it comes to competition, "family" comes in last.
As intensive competition reaches ever-younger children and is taken outside the school arena and into commercially driven travel teams, etc., parents sacrifice family time for their kids' athletic careers.
I sincerely hope your nephew is headed to a career as a professional athlete, where all of this training will come together in a blaze of glory. In the meantime, he will miss many events, large and small, and his memories of childhood will be a blur of hours spent in the car, punctuated by moments on the playing field.
These parents are giving you several months' notice to adjust. I hope you will ultimately overcome this disappointment and accept their choice -- because you cannot change it.