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A Father's Thorn in the Flesh | Weekend Visitation Snatched Away

ThornThe Apostle Paul wrote (in 2nd Corinthians) > "There was given to me a thorn in the flesh..." Now I may not be an apostle, but I know that feeling.

With a little poetic license, using modern vernacular, this verse could be interpreted > "There was given to me .. a pain in the @ss." (the Rad translation)

I was supposed to get the bug this weekend. (Court order says I get him every other weekend.) I've been donating my Saturdays to his mom (trying to be nice).

She, unfortunately, doesn't respond well to nice. (Maybe she views it as a sign of weakness.) She only wants more, more, more. Anyway, I'm done being nice .. especially after she wouldn't let me see him Father's day (last week).

So I'm taking everything the courts granted me. His mom however, doesn't see it that way. She called yesterday, saying she was coming by to pick him up in the afternoon.

So I hid out out with the bug. We found a quiet little park, that nobody knows about. I threw down some blankets and made a bed for him on the grass, in the shade, with a cool breeze blowing. There he slept nearly 4 hours (looking peaceful & beautiful).

Afterwards we went home. She musta been circling the block for 4 hours, cuz we hadn't been home more than 5 minutes, when we all decided to go to El Torito (Mexican restaurant) for dinner. I was taking the car seat out of the Rad-mobile and transferring it to the other car, when his mom pulled up.

••••• today's entry continues below •••••

Felt like a swat team had arrived: tires screeching to a halt. Driver's door swung open before car came to a complete stop, left open, car half in driveway (half out). I knew right away it wasn't gonna be pretty.

The bug was standing between me and his mom when she pulled up, 6 steps from each of us. "Momma's here," he said, sounding surprised. What to do? Couldn't very well snatch him and run in the house. Well, I *could* .. but I didn't wanna do anything that might traumatize him.

She picks him up. But he doesn't want to go with her, which, of course, isn't good for her. I mean, the bug had been looking forward to dinner at El Torito's. "Don't do this," I pleaded, not wanting a scene, which might traumatize him.

I think, if he really insisted on not going with her, she wouldn't have taken him. But he's only two. So she tries to persuade him, walking down the street with him, holding him close. Meanwhile, everybody who's going to El Torito is waiting, standing there on the street. Awkward.

I reminded her this is my weekend, and what the court order says. But she doesn't care much about court orders (except when they stipulate things in her favor).

Sure, I could have called the police, but again, I don't want to do anything that might traumatize the bug. It's better he go with her, untraumatized, than with me, upset. (She had a crazed look in her eye.)

In situations like these, you try to look for any good you can. And it's good his mom actually *wants* to spend time with him. (Some moms don't.) And many people would love to have people fighting over them.

Obviously I'm biased, but he really *is* the coolest kid. Can't tell you how many times I've heard (or overheard) women/girls say, "I want one *just* like that."

Some friends however, feel she's so wrapped up in him - that's he's her whole life - that she feels empty without him. This is not good either, cuz that type of smothering, they claim, doesn't allow a child to develop properly. They might have a point.

The people who I was going to El Torito with tried talking sense into her. But she would have none of it.

At first I refused to let her take him. She was buckling him in his car seat while I was unbuckling him. Ugly situation, and I could see it was upsetting him. So I let her take him.

At the coffee shop this morning, my rock-climbing buddy (a great dad) put his arm around me and said, "I'm proud of you. That's what *any* good dad would've done." It's these little gestures that give us strength & keep us going.

It's not like that's what I *felt* like doing. But, as a parent, I feel we have an internal governor .. that controls our behavior to conform to what's best for the child, in each situation.

Along these lines - because she's the bug's mother - you (instinctively) don't really want anything bad to happen to her. (For *his* sake.) In her case however, I feel that anger & resentment trump parenting instincts. She wants to hurt me. That's clear. Hard for me to understand how anybody can be *that* angry.

I mean, if I did, I woulda called the police. It was a perfect situation. She was at *my* house. I have a court order that says I get him. I have two people standing behind me, who witnessed the whole thing. One of them is a retired judge, respected in the community. Woulda been easy to do.

Later, I asked my dinner companions if I should've called the police. They said, "No."

So I'm a mess today. Woke at 4AM; couldn't get back to sleep. Dark circles under my eyes. Lots of support from friends, tho. Girl at the coffee shop this morning kissed me on the cheek and said, "Promise me you'll do something good for yourself this weekend."

I was in such a funk, it took ~10 secs to realize what had happened. "Did you just kiss me?" I asked. (She'd never done that before). "Yeah," she said, "on the cheek."

But there's not much I can do, short of whisking him away for the weekend, to a safe house somewhere (where she can't find us).

Friends insists that if I keep doing the right thing by the bug, it will all work out for me. But that sounds naïve. How does it end for Paul (and his thorn in the flesh)? If I recall correctly > not well.

Some day I may write a little piece on the concept of hitting bottom. If you keep going down, down, down, you eventually hit bottom, right?

And all way the way down, you keep asking yourself, "How much more of this can I take?" And just when you think you can't take any more .. blammo! .. another boulder lands on you. (I was really looking forward to spending the weekend with him.)

There's more to the story, which I haven't shared (much more). It's a like a dang movie. (Horror.) Never seems to stop. If nothing else, these challenges teach us a lot about ourselves. Friends (who know the whole story) can't understand how I handle it.

On your descent to the bottom, you meet a lot of interesting characters, many of whom, it seems, have names beginning with the letter 'D', such as Mr. Despair (who I'm intimately acquainted with) and Madame Desperation (who I can hear calling my name). Dejection. Depression.

My buddy, the Dog (who happens to know a thing or two about the dark side) says he heard that, when you start to go crazy, it's like passing thru a thick gelatin wall. (Now, when you find yourself discussing what it's like to go crazy, that's a good sign you're having a bad day.) But this is a subject for another day.

"A thorn in the flesh." Not to take anything away from Paul, I know a little about what that feels like.

Going for a bike ride now .. around the Newport Back Bay (10 miles) .. to "do something nice for myself."


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Comments (4)




take her back to court, now!


Read your latest post and want to extend my thoughts. I can only imagine how much this hurts, so I just wanna say that your post moved me. The bug (and indeed his mom) is so lucky to have you as his dad. I'm not sure I could handle such a situation with your maturity.

On a lighter note, I'm most jealous of your 911. To my mind, the Porsche is simply the ultimate car. There's a 911 (993) Targa - I think the first generation where 'Targa' meant full glass roof - that parks near where I'm currently working, and I ogle it nearly every day.

Once again, my thoughts.

Jim D:

Ohhh man oh man,
Makes you want to Grrrr bigtime, hang in there daddyoh, it takes guts to back off when you know you are right, and you backed away for the right reasons.

I'm a grandfather I have three grand children and one about to make it in this awful world. The first grand child knows me well but lives too far away to see or visit, this is the same with his sister. My third grand child, I hardly know, his mother cannot visit him unless his dad agrees to it. As for the rights of grandparents, well, we don't exist.

BUT, when these little kids grow up and reach 16, they just might give mom or dad the flick, then it will be story time bigtime, the truth comes out then, just be patient. The wheel of time rolls awfully slow, but it shurely goes around and reaches the end.

Keep your chin up mate, you are not the only one, writin the diry on the web is great therapy :))

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