Long planned trip, or family event?

I thought about putting this in the “coronavirus part 3” thread but it was much less heavy than what’s been on there lately. So, many of you have probably heard about my cruise to Alaska that is planned for June. It was originally 2020 and then 2021, so by the time I would sail it would be 3 whole years since I decided to go. I don’t have control of the dates b/c it’s with a large group. The issue is that when I first planned this it was later in June but it got moved to the 1st week–when my kids are still in school. But, this year there aren’t any school events then, luckily (that’s actually really unusual, and very lucky). The one problem is that my DD10 has started doing dance again and the one recital all year has been set for when I’d be on the trip. In 2019 when I planned this the 2020 recital was supposed to be in May, so there would have been no conflict. Also due to covid the other, informal recital has been canceled as well as the photo day. So, this is the one and only event all year for her dance class. And I feel bad to miss it. I also feel bad b/c I was the one who pushed her to go back to dance class. I didn’t want it to be something that the pandemic took away which she never got to do again. She had been sort of on the fence about it. The recital is actually optional but we already signed up for it. I’d welcome anyone’s advice. I actually paid for the cruise but have been feeling guilty about the recital. I could still cancel within a month and get almost all of my money back. But, too, I look at this trip sort of like the dance studio: this is something I truly wanted and was taken away by the pandemic, so I want it back. Someone on the trip is in poor health and I don’t know if I delayed if I could see that person later. There will be a professional video and photos taken of the recital. My DH has encouraged me to go b/c he can tell it’s important to me, and he’s handled a recital before when I had to be out of town at a wedding. But, it wasn’t “the” recital. Thanks for any advice. I have no idea what I will end up doing. I could easily do this same cruise itinerary later, but it wouldn’t be the group I wanted.

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So, how does DD10 feel about it?


I know this is the million dollar question. I haven’t asked her yet b/c I don’t want to spark something that will lead to a several months long tantrum. It’s happened before. If I end up canceling due to covid etc it wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I know I can’t put this off forever but, for several reasons related to DD10, waiting right now is the right answer.

We ran up against this last year ourselves and had to rebook our trip for something like the 5th time. As a dancer’s mom, there is no way I would have her missing the recital that she has worked so hard all year toward. I’m not one of those “the years go so fast” moms, but there is legitimately a limited number of recitals that will happen in her life. For us, for my dancer, it’s far too important to miss.

Admittedly my dancer is one who is at the studio no less than 12hr a week and takes a wide variety of styles and plans to do something in the dance world for her life’s work.

I know what you mean. DD10 would not miss the recital, only me. DH and 2 brothers would still be there. But, I am her favorite person, and the person who pushed for her to continue dance. She is only there 1 hr a week. I really wish I could adjust the dates a week later. I wish covid hadn’t interfered with the original trip dates, but of course I’m only one of millions who feel that way about something. Sigh. I am going to gently discuss with her if she actually wants to do the production. She has seemed lately that she might not want to this year b/c she only started tap in the middle of the year and doesn’t know much. She decided to abandon ballet that she’d done 4 yrs in favor of tap but doesn’t like being with the younger kids.


I don’t think I could do it, personally. But that’s for you and DD10 to determine. FOR ME there are not that many chances to put each child 100% in the limelight and to make it known to them that they and what they do is important and important to me.

I will not get to do any of the Princess Half Marathon weekends for the foreseeable future (nor have I done any in the last probably 10 years) because I know that will always butt up against hockey playoffs, and I can’t not be there for the culmination of the season’s efforts. FOR ME the recital is just like that. And it’s my chance to see them in their passion, doing what they love, and living their best lives.

I think this is an extremely personal decision and nobody can make this decision for you. Just because I couldn’t miss it doesn’t mean that’s the right answer for you.

But I do think it will be 100% important to include DD in the discussion about it. Maybe she doesn’t even care all that much. Maybe she is coming to that mature place where she is able to see that this is a limited opportunity for you, and that Moms having time to themselves and doing things important to them matters too.

Good luck.

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What is your guess as to how she feels about it?

I would probably skip it, if it didn’t break her heart. I am at tons of my kids’ things so I don’t think they’d have any doubt of my support for them. But I also try to explain the real deal to them, that big groups are hard to coordinate but can be precious to see, that we don’t always get another chance, etc. Then I’d gauge from that convo if it would result in long term resentment. If it would I’d try to rejigger my plans. But if not, I’d go on the cruise and gush from a distance. Send her flowers, FaceTime about it in the afterglow, watch every video, etc.

Who knows. You not being there might lead her to say she didn’t want to do it anyway. The pandemic has robbed us of a lot of things but it has also given us more permission to seize the day and cut out the things (activities for example) that aren’t feeding our soul anymore, and find what is.

I think the time spent prepping for the recital is important input.
She’ll have spent one hour a week for one semester. That is completely and totally different than 12 hours a week.
So, I’d go on the trip. The only way I wouldn’t go on the trip is if the same trip could be had on a different date, and that isn’t true.

A long shot but is there a way to fly in that day, spend the night and fly back to the next port of call? I know if you miss the ship you have to fly to meet the ship at the next port. You would be missing 1 night and 2 days of the cruise but you could do both.

Alaska doesn’t allow that, from what I’ve heard. The recital is on the embarkation day too. And I’d be over in Vancouver and she’ll be in the DC area, on opposite sides of the continent.

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One thing I could attend is one of the big dress rehearsals. The problem is, parents can’t watch. I did think maybe to ask if they’d allow me to watch b/c I wouldn’t be seeing the big performance, but I seriously doubt they would let me. The studio is very strict about its rules–and I’m sure they’d remind me that they published the date of the recital long ago. I just didn’t realize it conflicted until recently. For many years these recitals were in May.

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Oh no! I would be so torn. I would hate to miss the recital. They grow up so fast. I wish I had even more memories of my children when they were younger even though we have plenty enough. But possibly the last chance to see a relative is a big draw to keep the trip. Maybe the stars will align and the recital has to be pushed back :pray:

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It is funny how the rules can be so different. In DD’s dress rehearsals parents were strongly encouraged to stay and if they wanted to take their own videos that was when they could. They had professional videos but the stage is so large each kid was tiny. As I told some other parents, when I look at the stage your kids are just a blurry background and I only have eyes for DD. I expect you see your kids the same. Individual videos were not allowed during the real performance.

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I may have figured out a work around to this where I can do both. Will let you know if it happens. It involves some of the group doing a 2nd cruise and maybe me moving to that one. But I don’t know if it’s feasible.

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It’s so hard to be a parent, isn’t it? And to gauge what is really important and what it’s okay to miss. In some ways, missing a big event (in her life) like this might be the kind of lesson that a kid needs to learn - that you work hard and perform for your own enjoyment, and that while it’s great to have your family there cheering you on, you need to do it for you. (I know, 10 is a little young for that sort of attitude. I have a 10 year old DS who isn’t mature enough for that yet.) But I also think that it’s important to show how much your family member on the trip means to you, as well. And that’s a good lesson for kids to see.

I feel your pain. We honestly had to reconfigure our summer trip - our first in three years - about 10 times due to snow days from school, summer camp, and dance recital as well. I almost forgot about recital entirely because two years ago, it was a few weeks earlier, and then DD didn’t participate in dance last year (she was very Covid conscious). So I was close to booking Disney and then realized we couldn’t go when I wanted. And now it’s over July 4th, which I never would’ve picked on purpose.

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That’s exactly how we landed with our over-July-4th trip last summer.


That’s exactly the same as us: she didn’t participate in dance last year b/c we were too worried about covid. In spring 2020 she was doing dance via the computer and it sort of worked but she didn’t like it.
Once it reopened, the studio has never required masking during dance. So she missed an entire year. This year, I didn’t sign her up until late Nov when it started in Sept. Then I pulled her out in Jan b/c our omicron numbers were astronomical, returning in early Feb. So, she hasn’t had much dance at all this year, but she seems to be enjoying it.

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My new plan worked! I remembered that several people from the group were doing a back-to-back cruise that goes the other direction in Alaska, and I was able to be moved to the 2nd cruise. It does mean losing out on some things but is mostly the same cruise and people I wanted to see will be there. I told DD10 today that I might have missed her recital and she was pretty unhappy, so changing it was the right decision. It will also be easier on DH b/c school will be out. I may lose some $ from making this decision so late but I’m ok with that; it’s probably not much. I only just thought of this idea.


Hopefully you’ll still get to see everyone debarking from the first cruise before you embark on the 2nd.