Readers, I don’t want to leave you hanging through the summer like you’ve just seen the season’s final episode. Yet I don’t know if Ex or his buddies read anything I post here. Ex has told the children, “I don’t read your mother’s blog.” Still, I don’t want any of the details I spill to undermine the kids’ interests or mine. Ex is most often spoiling for some fight or another.
Although I have quite a few fun fluffy posts in the pipeline, my heart and attention have been thoroughly consumed by the prospect of the children’s summer visitation. I haven’t looked much beyond our navels or noses at anything else in weeks and I have felt my wrists firmly bound with regard to publishing about the subject. I’ve chewed lose and here I am on the eve of Ex’s proposed visitation, publicly laying out the facts of the situation.
My daughter has determined that she definitely does not want to see Ex this summer. The professionals involved in our lives support her decision. Ex reports to have “accepted” it, though it took many calls, a letter, and a fax to elicit any response from him. However, Ex has not “accepted” the boys’ wishes in the same way. My youngest son wishes to see Ex but not to be in his care. My eldest son nervously wants to see his father but has firmly refused to ride in Ex’s tiny cigarette/dog-stinking bachelor car. (Ex hasn’t returned calls from those who support the boys either, likely because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say.)
Drama. Drama. Drama.
The exchange of emails went something like this:
Me (April): “These are the dates the children are free…”
Ex (June 12, six weeks past the May 1st deadline): “If you deliver them to me, I’ll return them home.” (Note: No acknowledgment of dates.) Picture me with a pizza-like delivery sign featuring three unhappy kids’ faces strapped atop my minivan.
Me: “Too late. Though we have made other plans, I’ll try to work with you to make something happen but transportation is not my responsibility. Even so, I’ll drive if you cover the cost.” (I had assumed Ex would blow the whole thing off like he did last summer and had already made plans. After his June 12 email, I scrambled to formulate a last minute visitation proposal accommodating the kids’ wishes and needs when I probably should have just told him to go eff himself.)
Ex: “I’ll pay, but part up front and part when you deliver the children.” (To the pizza van, kids!)
Me: “Whole amount in advance.” (Have I mentioned that he already owes me roughly the value of a respectable acreage in his podunk nowhere? Though, not quite so much as the U.S. owes China.)
Ex: (Now, this takes cajones, Readers.) “I’ll pay the whole amount now, but only if you agree to take it off the child support I owe.” Further, he added, “Otherwise, I’ll just do all the driving.” That’s right, Readers. If I didn’t accept that he not pay so much as a thin dime toward the cost of travel then he intended to spend twice the money to drive twice as far (a total of 3200 miles in 10 days).
Ex: (Via my attorney) “Remind your client that interference with visitation is a contemptible offense.” (No money arrived either.) Ex sure knows/exemplifies contemptible, and he was the guy who had to don the orange jumpsuit to learn about it.
Frankly, Readers, Ex can feel free to stow his rattling saber up his… choking… back… words…
For weeks now, I have been despondent for my children. This has been a good year, a fantastic year. The kids finished school strongly, they have nice friends, and are successful in their various extracurricular activities. Best of all, they are relatively happy. Now, here Ex comes lumbering in after the upper chamber of the hour glass is long empty, to mess with the kids’ noggins and sabotage their well-being.
These last several weeks, the boys have been playing out their anxieties over this impending visit behaviorally which has quite honestly, sucked. Psychologically, Ex seeds the dark clouds of family drama which drench us all.
The children’s response when I said it looked like we would be returning to our original plans was a collective sigh of relief. They had been excited about our previously planned playful family adventure and have been tense and edgy in waves since Ex threw that curve ball on June 12. Will the boys see Ex? I hope so, but on their own terms.
I don’t know what legal shenanigans may follow and I don’t know that I’ll be available to post for the next couple of weeks while we are driving, paddling, and hiking our way through the Midwest. Next post, I hope not to include details of the food served in the county clink where I’ve been confined for contempt.