I watched the clock tick from 8:58 to 9'oclock on the dot...
Then to 9:01 and 9:02.
I called the number on the sheet of paper, from the email they had sent, I had it printed out-
it was wrapped in a page protector.
I took it from the 3 inch binder it has lived in, since I got the notice over a month ago.
I wasn't going to be late.
I am late for practically everything. Sometimes it doesn't seem to matter how hard I try to be on time.
But not for this-
Not this day.
Yesterday was considerably one the biggest days I've ever lived though.
I filed to modify the custody of my youngest child. Her father and I have a difficult time co-parenting.
We've fought for years.
We fight so bad we can't even live in the same state.
-that's supposed to be a joke, but the irony is the validity.
Two separate parts of the country-
Yesterday was my chance to motion a much needed change in our order-
Yesterday was my chance to motion, what I thought was, a much needed change in our order.
And our hearing was set for 9AM.
The meeting was over zoom due to the Pandemic. The pandemic that was unheard of when I originally started this process; over a year ago.
I called the number listed, in case there were technical difficulties-
The automated system stated the host wasn't present and the meeting hadn't yet started. Then it hung up on me.
I took a deep breath, and I fully exhaled.
I was on time.
Maybe the Judge needed some extra space to review the packet of 2 pounds of paper I had sent him.
The 24 page letter I wrote, outlining how every single article was broken, multiple times over- maybe he was reading how he was mocked, how additional boundaries have been added- Maybe he was reading my begs to make a difference in my child's wellbeing.
Maybe the Judge was glancing over the 12 page timeline of over 100 hours of refused parenting time we could never get back.
Surely the delay was because I included 195 more pages to show clear and convincing evidence to support the substantial changes and contempt.
The Judge said he needed to get coffee.
I sat up as straight as I could in my chair.
The hearing was called to order 17 minutes late and ended at 9:28; we got less than 15 minutes of his time.
And not a single thing changed.
No actions were held accountable;
we didn't even get a lecture.
It was the most Monday-est of Mondays
...and the Judge could not have cared less.
I sat there, in my five coats of mascara.
I ordered it especially to wear. I practiced doing my makeup for last two weeks.
I got up, I brushed my teeth I took a shower. I blowdried my hair.
I wore a new dress and a suit-jacket.
I could see the evaporation from the breath I forgot to take.
I think I saw my life flash before my eyes.
It took me a bloody Mary and a bowl of potato soup before it hit me.
My husband took me to breakfast. We shared a bowl of shrimp and grits; and I refused to cry in the restaurant.
The same Judge that put the Order in to place did not care his own Articles had been broken.
I felt like I was skydiving. This couldn't be real.
This wasn't the way I had expected it to go, and I didn't know how I was supposed to feel.
I wanted to cry.
I wanted to be angry.
I wanted to scream. I wanted my vocal chords to blow out and I wanted to throw my body on the floor.
I wanted to hit something until I stopped hurting.
I wanted to cry.
But I refused to cry in the restaurant.
Instead I sat there.
It's the first of November and the first day worth wearing a sweat shirt.
The sun was brilliant, I had watched it rise that morning.
It felt like a life-changing day.
I prayed. I meditated. I paid attention to my vibrations and focused on the questions the Judge might ask, then practiced kindly reminding myself to not manifest questions. I drank moon water and burned bay leaves. I wrote notes of intention and lit candles.
I saged the house.
I did everything I knew to do, and looked for new ways just to make sure I did everything.
I beat myself up, countless times, and lost hours of sleep for every little spelling error I noticed, after I sent the packet to the Judge, that he never even looked over.
I laughed at how much I had stressed over running out of page protectors.
Which meant I didn't get any less time.
I am learning to appreciate the acceptance.
No matter how much we don't get along-
She is healthy. She is taken care of. She is loved.
That's all I could want.
Even though the day didn't go the way I wanted it to- I watched the sun rise. A peace filled me.
I know everything worked out the way it was supposed to-
Because, just as hard as it was for me to take her from him-
He knows he can't take her from me.
No matter what, nothing stays this way forever-
After breakfast, the radio played songs that held me as I finally cried my buckets of tears.
My husband bought me a new house plant, because I said that would make me feel better.
I went to bed in the middle of the day, and I slept until I started crying again.
Then we ordered Thai for dinner.
Last night we had a cold front, so I had to bring all my plants in the house-
I woke up this morning.
Let's start there.
I woke up this morning.
I made myself coffee and sipped it.
I felt like I got shot, but I'm still able to swallow.
I get to spend my day editing a photoshoot. We all know how much I love being a photographer.
I have left-over Thai for lunch and my house is covered in plants.
We're going to make it. And Every little thing, is going to be alright.
Every single day, we are faced with something new.
A new diversity, a new challenge- a new victory.
And every single day- we grow.
80% of the success is showing up-
The willingness to show up changes us. It makes us a little braver each time.