dear deidre | lesson 21

My son didn’t even come see me on my 60th birthday – it hurt me so much.
Credit: The Sun Newspaper – Deidre Sanders

BIRTHDAY BLUES| My son didn’t even come see me on my 60th birthday – it hurt me so much.

DEAR DEIDRE: I AM so upset that my son didn’t come to see me on my 60th birthday. He didn’t even call. All he did was chip in for a gift.

He went to his girlfriend’s mum’s birthday and it wasn’t a special number like mine.

My daughter made an effort and came to see me with gifts and a cake. My wife recently had a birthday. She was 57 and my son came to visit her.

My son is 30. I have always been there for my children. I’m angry that they seem closer to my wife than me, even though I know my wife was mostly there for them while I worked long hours.

My son said that a colleague had Covid symptoms and he’d stay away but I think this was just an excuse.

I haven’t asked him why he treats me differently and keeps me at arm’s length. Did I do something wrong?

I just pretend all is well, when inside I’m hurting so much.


You’ve done nothing wrong, don’t take it personally.

First, think why having your son celebrate your birthday is so crucial for you. Does this hark back to feeling your birthday was ignored when you were a child?

You can let your son know it would mean a lot to you to share your birthday with him without casting any accusations.

Invite him and his girlfriend over – and don’t sound critical. You can’t change other people but you can change yourself.

Source: The Sun Newspaper – Deidre Sanders – 27 SEP 2021


  • blues sad feelings.
    Tradução > tristeza, melancolia, fossa.
  • chip in to give some money so that a group of people can buy something together, to contribute.
    Tradução > contribuir, fazer uma vaquinha.
  • be there for sb to be available if somebody wants to talk to you or if they need help.
    Tradução > estar lá por alguém, estar presente, apoiar.
  • mostly generally, for the most part.
    Tradução > na maior parte, na maioria das vezes, em grande parte.
  • keep sb at arm’s length to avoid developing a relationship with someone.
    Tradução > manter alguém à distância /a uma certa distância, manter longe.
  • pretend to behave as if something is true when in fact you know it is not, in order to deceive people or for fun.
    Tradução > fingir, fazer de conta.
  • take it personally to be offended by something.
    Tradução > levar para o lado pessoal.
  • hark back to to remember or talk about something that happened in the past.
    Tradução > remeter, voltar a.
  • cast to direct.
    Tradução > lançar, jogar, atirar.

Definitions: (Waytogo and Dictionary Cambridge/Collins/Longman/Macmillan/Oxford/Lexico)

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