The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Saddest Birthday Ever Edition

People who have been Twitter feed already have heard the story, but I thought I’d share it with all of you.

My three year old son planned for a nice birthday party with his closest friends this past Saturday. We planned everything together – he chose the invitation list (four other children), helped us with invitations, helped with decorations, helped us make the cake – everything. He was incredibly excited by the event and was looking forward to it for weeks.

On the Tuesday before the party, one child said she couldn’t come – there was a family situation that weekend. No big deal.

On Thursday, another child cancelled. Stomach flu.

On Friday, a third child cancelled. Again, stomach flu.

On Saturday morning, a half an hour before the party, the last remaining attendee called and cancelled. Again, stomach flu.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a child quite so sad. When my wife broke the news to him that no one was coming to his birthday party, he just stood there for a bit, looking utterly heartbroken, then after a minute or two, he broke down in tears and cuddled with his mom.

It is moments like these when I am at my weakest. I probably would have done anything on earth that my child asked for. What did he want to do? He was content to spend the afternoon playing with his train set – his birthday gift from us. The only thing we did differently was to swap our meals around, saving what was to be the lunch served at his birthday party (his favorite food – homemade pizza with TONS of black olives) to supper instead.

It would have been so easy to just buy him something to console him – to solve a social wound through materialism. Instead, we just turned the day into a close family day, where the four of us spent the whole day together. In the end, I think he was still heartbroken – but I also think he felt loved and reassured, too.

What Is Your Favorite Cultural Activity That Doesn’t Cost Money? This is one of those articles where the article itself isn’t much but it’s generated a bunch of interesting and useful comments. My favorite? Walking the streets of a town and photographing interesting things (architecture, people, events, etc.). (@ carrie and danielle)

Working from Home: What I’ve Learned in 8 Months as a Professional Blogger The stuff J.D. writes about here almost perfectly matches my own experience – and the experience of many people who find a way to work at home with their own microbusiness. (@ get rich slowly)

Holding Yourself Accountable, Part One (Daily), Part Two (Weekly), and Part Three (Long Term) I actually ran across these articles after finishing my article on accountability from yesterday, so this is quite a bit of additional reading on the subject. (@ freelance switch)

Six Simple Steps to Avoid Credit Problems in a Bad Economy Some great, simple advice here that works in a good economy, too. I think many people are panicked right now – it’s important to not lose track of the fundamentals. (@ zen habits)

6 Tips For Small Businesses To Navigate A Tough Holiday Season I forwarded this article to about fifty different people over the last few days. This is good stuff. (@ the digerati life)

Library Fines Got You Down? The Collection Agency is Coming This is one of the drawbacks of using a library – and I’ve been bitten by it a few times. (@ queercents)

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