“I’m Sorry, Honey…I Can’t Take You to the Movies Next Weekend.” – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers
Those are the exact words I had to tell my son a couple days ago. My husband and I went to court again last week and it was decided that my husband and I get “shared weekends.” One parent picks up their child from school on Friday and has them for the entire weekend, including overnights, until Sunday night. The next weekend it is the other parent’s “turn.” Thus the reason for my statement above, to my son.
I am unhappy with this arrangement. My son is unhappy with this arrangement. In fact, my son is so unhappy, he said to me, “That means I get less time with you, Mommy!” We actually had to sit down and draw out a chart, complete with number of hours of the day my son will be spending with me and number of hours he will be spending with his father. I exceeded his father by one hour. That made my son at least a tad happier.
My son asked me why he can’t spend the days with his father and then come home at night to sleep. I had to explain the Laws of The Court. Although he understood, he didn’t like it. When I asked what about the arrangement he wasn’t happy about, he stated that he hates the Court because even if he wants to sleep in his own bed in his own house, he can’t. He began to cry. I began to cry. We were both wiping tears off of each other’s cheeks. I can imagine wanting to sleep in my own bed but not being able to.
I thought about what my son said and really have to question what the Court views as, “In the child’s best interest,” when the child is obviously unhappy? Is making a child unhappy and miserable in the child’s “best interest?” I told my son that we had to try it out for about a month or two, but that if he was still sincerely miserable, I would be contacting my attorney who would then speak with my son’s Law Guardian. This whole bureaucratic nonsense sickens me. Literally.
My husband is ecstatic purely because he never has to spend another weekend in our home again. I honestly believe that, for him, that notion is more important than having weekends with my son. Originally, he only wanted one weekend night with my son. I think by having my son a whole weekend, it puts a kink in his social life. But with the thought of never having to sleep here on weekends again…he feels he won the lottery.
Meanwhile, I am miserable. My son is miserable. And people offer their typical, unsolicited comments, “You’ll get to have a whole weekend to yourself!” “You’ll get used to it.” “I would love to have my kids stay somewhere else every other weekend.” Etc, etc. What these well meaning people don’t understand is that I don’t want to be by myself. I want to be part of a family. Part of something bigger. Neither my son nor I want less. We both want more. It is just so sad that we will never get that. We both have to “settle” for something that makes us both unhappy.
Something tells me we are going to both spend a lot of our time together cuddling.