Heaven holds a sense of wonder….

{December 29, 2010}   Oh, for want of a map.

I had this dream about a year ago that I was being chased by “bad guys”, and I was running all over the place with my kids in tow, trying to keep them safe. I didn’t know who the “bad guys” were or what they wanted, just that I had to keep my kids safe. Finally, I found a building made of brick, a “safe house”, and I explained to the kids that I loved them very much, and one day I would come back for them, but I didn’t know when. I told them if they stayed with me, they wouldn’t be safe. My then-4-year-old son nodded his head sagely, and escorted his sister inside, giving me one last look over his shoulder before they disappeared to the other side of that door. I sat in my car and cried.

That’s the kind of dream that stays with and haunts a mom for a lifetime.

But it’s true – if it would keep my kids safe, I would give up everything to protect them – even my children themselves. I would give them a safe place to stay and content myself with loving them from afar until the danger was over.

Their father does not see it that way.

Regardless of what jeopardy he may be placing them in, he wants a relationship with his kids no matter what, and he wants it on his terms. He wants to bike the kids a mile and a half in 25 degree weather with a 15 mph wind – and on a bike at 30mph, or even 20mph, that translates to a wind chill factor at below-zero. He’s homeless, and he wants to force me to get his consent regarding education and health for the kids. He failed to get the kids’ health insurance, and B.R. missed a week of school because his dad never scheduled that physical he was supposed to earlier this year.

I get it, people make mistakes, they get hit by hard times. But through all of this, he’s never shown that he’s thinking of the kids first. He’s thinking of himself – and his “relationship” with the kids. The relationship is secondary to the kids’ needs. It grows out of tending to their needs. Babies learn love after an association with feeding has been made. It doesn’t get any more fundamental than that!

After this week, I will have the kids in my home full-time because their dad is homeless. He would like to spend more time with them than just the one day a week I’m currently offering – but I can’t just let him take the kids anywhere, and I can’t have him in my house all the time. We need boundaries. He’s a manipulative, button-pushing guy.

I’ve tried giving him a little bit to work with. But that little inch seems to entitle him to go for a mile. I’m tired of doing all the work to see to it that the kids are well-adjusted and loved in relation to him. I want him to step up and prove himself.

Our court date is at the end of January. I had hoped to work out an arrangement with him out of court, but it seems as though that’s not going to happen – not unless I agree to his terms. He seems to think I’m asking him to give up his parental rights – all I want is for him to think of what the kids need. But he can’t even tend to his own needs, so what am I thinking?

I am so scared. Pickle and I have gotten by ok with having the kids half time, and we want to have the kids full time because it’s a better environment for them here, and hell, we love them. But it’s going to be a big change, especially for Pickle. She’s not a parent – she’s on her way to becoming a step-parent. She’s invested in these kids, but, still, they’re not hers. I can’t expect her to feel as though they are all the time.

I’m essentially going to be a single mom with a little bit of backup.

We haven’t talked about this yet, Pickle and I. We made an “appointment” to talk about it Friday after I get off work – because it needs to be discussed. I have to know where her limits are.

I’m not even thinking as I’m writing this. I’m just nervous and scared. And spitting words out that probably just barely make sense.

I feel like I’m traveling uncharted territory, here.


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