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Grandparents Day- advice needed tonight

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Holly-Isis posted 10/9/2013 16:36 PM

We decided to invite FIL to our DD's grandparent's day this year. He hasn't been involved in the kids' lives, but recently he helped us out paying their tuition and with getting our new car.

MrH has been asking him and he hasn't had an answer. Tomorrow is the deadline and I told MrH if he didn't answer, I need to ask one of our older family friends so DD won't be the only one without a grandparent (they also include grandfriends for kids like my DD who don't have family nearby).

So FIL answers. He's going to be dressed in full powwow regalia and said that we need to be sure to write him down as Chief FIL on the RSVP.

MrH told me to ask how to deal with it here. We're in agreement that though there is no shame in being Native American, this is not the time for full regalia. This is about DD sharing her school with her GF, not him becoming the center of attention, which he surely will in full regalia.

I talked to DD in "what if" terms (as he wants to be a surprise showing up for her) and she said she'd be embarrassed. She wants him to bring a couple items to share, but would hide her face if he dressed in his headgear. Again, she's not embarrassed of her culture. In fact I'm going to be sewing her her own regalia and she's going to be learning the dances because she wants to compete at powwows.

Interestingly enough, she ordered the people she would like to invite and it was: FIL, family friend, THEN MIL. That's a whole other issue.

I know how I told MrH he needs to handle it but he wanted suggestions from here. Any ideas?

ajsmom posted 10/9/2013 16:41 PM

Could he possibly be kidding?

If not, he needs to be told pretty sternly (the money issue is separate) that this is HER day.

End of story. Either he comes with a few items or not at all.


jrc1963 posted 10/9/2013 16:47 PM

Yikes... showboating much?

I agree with AJ's mom... you need to explain to him that it's about DD showing GF school... not GF showing off all his cool powwow regalia.

I think it's cool that your DD is going to compete at powwows... I hope you can share pics of her when you get her outfit completed.

Holly-Isis posted 10/9/2013 17:20 PM

Nope- not joking at all. He's chief of his tribe and takes his heritage very seriously.

I told MrH he needs to tell his dad that while DD wants him to bring items, full regalia would detract from the purpose of the day. BTW- DD mentioned the items idea only after I asked how she would feel- this isn't what caused FIL to decide to wear regalia.

I think I'll also suggest that since the focus of much of the school year is the 1800's and pioneers, we can have him come up on Academic Showcase night if her teacher approves. That would be more fitting.

sullymeishadomi posted 10/10/2013 04:11 AM

Holly, the idea in your last post is a good one.

I think its cool that he is Chief of his tribe, but grandparent night is not one of the nights to attend in full regala. This night is about the kids and school.

Holly-Isis posted 10/10/2013 06:12 AM

Well, MrH talked to him. Apparently he made this choice "for DD" since she said kids don't believe she's NA. She tans easily...but when she does her hair lightens. She's got the coloring I always wanted (since I burn then freckle).

He doesn't get that these are 8-9 yos. Seeing his long black hair is enough to convince them.

So I'll talk to her teacher today and see if he can come in the day after to talk to the class. And ask for parameters...Otherwise he'll try to own the situation.

Sad in AZ posted 10/10/2013 08:57 AM

I've worked in BIA and tribal offices around the country, and believe me, there is a way to make his presence known with resorting to full regalia. Because this is Grandparents' Day, I think it's important that he 'showcase' their heritage, but as you've stated, grandstanding is not necessary and will hurt your DD's feelings.

I hope he listens.

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