After the dust settled and the funeral had passed, it was time to get a hold of my life. Losing a best friend really puts things into perspective. I realized that life is super short, and I have 2 amazing kids that need me. It was time to step up and start fighting for my kids.
I got back to the city and the first thing I did was ask Trudy if I could see the kids. I needed to hug them. That night I had the kids over for supper, and I spent the entire night learning about my kids. Learning about school.. about bullies, about life.
ADVICE BLURB: IF YOU HAVE TIME TO SIT WITH YOUR KIDS AND JUST TALK FOR A FEW HOURS EVERY DAY, DO IT. EVEN THOUGH YOU MAY HAVE JUST SPOKE WITH THEM THE NIGHT BEFORE, I PROMISE YOU WILL LEARN SOMETHING NEW EVERY SINGLE TIME. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR KIDS ASKING ABOUT THEIR DAY. YOUR RELATIONSHIP WILL GROW, AND THEY WILL LEARN TO TRUST YOU MORE AND MORE EACH DAY.
The next day I walked into my lawyers office and demanded some attention. I needed to know what to do. Since moving closer to my kids, I can only have them every third weekend… why? What says she is more of a parent than I am. Who says they are more her kids than mine?
My lawyer told me that day that there is no agreement in place yet. So technically, I can have my kids whenever I want. She suggested that “tomorrow is your visitation with the kids…. why not have them over night.” I asked her “is this even possible? If she doesn’t agree, then what?”
And then I got the worst advice Ive ever gotten from a lawyer.
“You technically don’t have an agreement with her, you are legally entitled to have your kids. Pick them up, and after you pick them up, call her and tell her you are keeping them over night.” Being very naive I assumed that there would be no problem with this. I told her to be on standby for when she calls the police on me for kidnapping… she chuckled and said “call me anytime”
So the next day, I picked up my kids from school. I called her, and she didn’t answer, so I left a message and told her “Just an fyi, i’m going to keep the kids over night at my house tonight. I will take them to school in the morning, if you have an issues with that give me a call.
Well she had an issue… a huge issue. She called and called me every name in the book. Told me that its kidnapping and that I am not allowed to do that. I told her that its well within my rights to have OUR children over night, and if she has an issue with it, call my lawyer.
She didn’t call my lawyer.. or hers for that matter. She called the police. Which the police asked her if she had an agreement stating custody, she said no… they told her there was nothing they could do. If she doesn’t believe they are in danger, than they cant do anything… that didn’t stop her from calling and yelling and screaming for an hour.
2 hours later I see a black pick up truck driving by very slowly… then backing up, then parking. Out of the truck comes her PARENTS. The same parents that weren’t present in her life the entire time we were together. (that’s a whole other story)
As her mom and dad walk up to the door, I send the kids up stairs… they don’t need to see or hear anything that’s about to go down. Luckily my sister was over for a visit… she stayed hidden around the corner as I answered the door…. the conversation went like this:
me: “Hi, can I help you?”
Them: “Ya.. we are here to pick up the kids.”
Me: “Oh… im sorry.. but MY kids are spending the night here. With their DAD.”
Them: (her dad) “You are such a loser… a bottom of the barrel type guy. A loser.”
Me: “Even still… they are staying with me tonight, have a good night.” As I tried to close the door politely.
He smacks open the door and grabs me by the shirt trying to pull me outside. Now at this point, he must realize hes making a big mistake. I’m bigger than him, stronger than him, and he really doesn’t have a chance.. I looked at him and I smiled.. I said ” You know very well that if you were smart, you’d let go of my shirt right now, because if you don’t, you’re gonna regret coming over here tonight”
As I said that, my very colorful sister comes flaring around the corner, yelling and screaming, telling him to leave… and that she has it all on camera. (she didn’t) He lets me go, and his wife pulls him back to the truck. As hes walking away I poked the bear a bit, and told him how stupid he was for doing this when his grand kids are in the same house. He starts walking towards me again.. chest all puffed out. Guy… please. I yell at him and tell him if he steps foot on this property it will be the last time he walks for a while… again his wife comes and pulls him into the truck and away they go.
I walk inside and make sure the kids are happy and upstairs still… of course they are. They playing together, building legos.
About an hour later, I get a call from the grandmother. She tells me that I have no idea how to be a dad, and that I don’t know when they even go to school, or get off school. I explain that i’m a pretty smart man, and that ill figure it out. (even though I already knew)
I wasn’t an absent father, I was a father who dealt with an ex that kept my kids from me. She had this idea of a perfect little family, and I was no longer part of it…. maybe not..
But im still a dad.
ADVICE BLURB: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES… DO WHAT I DID. IT WAS THE WORST ADVICE I HAD EVER GOTTEN. IT MADE THINGS HORRIBLY TOUGH WITH MY EX, MADE HER HATE ME EVEN MORE, AND THEN DURING MY CUSTODY BATTLE, IT GAVE THE JUDGE A REASON TO JUDGE ME… A REASON TO BELIEVE THAT I WAS A NARCISSIST. TRY AND STAY CIVIL WITH YOUR EX. TALK THINGS THROUGH. IT PAYS OFF IN THE END.