'97 Dh, his daughter by wonderfulexgirlfriend, and I
attend ss's elementary graduation. We sit in the 3rd row, to the right
facing the stage. Out of the corner of my eye I see grandparents
lurk in, slink along the wall from the door, to a back row on the
left. A little bit later I see bm do the same.
Ss comes in with his class. We happily wave at each other.
Then his body stiffens and he looks around for bm and her parents, afraid
of being caught. His class sits on the floor in front of the stage. We can
still see him and we all happily wave at each other.
Graduation over, I had seen bm slink out early. I see
grandparents leave early. We suspect they won't let us see ss. The
wave of the crowd takes us right to ss and his grandparents. I've never
met bm or her parents. I hadn't planned it, but I reach out my hand to
grandpa, introduce myself, and he shakes my hand. I reach for grandma's
hand. She abruptly crosses her arms angrily and glares at me. *shrug* No skin off my nose. I
sense grandpa is in trouble with grandma for shaking my hand.
Bm had already left for her home. The grandparents reluctantly let us say hi to ss. They
won't allow him to take us to meet his best friend. They leave. We go
visit with his teacher.
Summer '99 dh won
custody. Bm calls the kids' phone line asking for ss. My daughter
tells her he's sleeping. Bm exclaims with alarm, "Why is he
sleeping?!? He never sleeps during the day!"
My daughter says with some sarcasm, "Because he's
tired?!?" Bm is quiet. My daughter tells her she'll have ss
call when he wakes up.
A few minutes later
bm calls back demanding my daughter wake up ss. I get on the phone and
tell her he has a stuffy nose, took a Sudafed, fell asleep, and he'll
call you later. She demands 3xs to talk to ss. I finally hang up.
She calls dh on his cell phone complaining that I wouldn't let her talk
to her son. Dh tells her he wouldn't have wakened ss either.
That afternoon bm's
mother calls on our phone for ss, telling him that Sudafed is terrible
and we're terrible for giving it to him. Ss passes on to us
his grandmother's message.
I take ss to the
doctor the next day just to be sure. The doctor says he can go to school, and just
take Sudafed. Ss is shocked. He's used to being allowed to stay home when
he has the sniffles and is embarrassed about the scaly nose. He's used
to believing bm and her mother are always right. He's stunned by what the doctor said. I chuckle
Dh wrote bm about what the doctor said, and that they are not allowed to grill my daughters, ask them to do
anything, and they must call for ss on the kids' line.
No more drama over
I fax the pediatrician my story about what was happening behind the
scenes and thank him for the visit.
ps. Over the years of severe visitation denial on the part of bm, she
or her parents used to eavesdrop on all phone conversations. Ss
would quietly hum, "Mmmmmm, waiting for them to
leave..." or tell his dad, "Did you hear that? Do you get the
feeling someone's listening?" Dh would tell ss, "That's ok. I
don't have anything to hide." Or bm and her parents would
stand beside ss telling him what he could say or couldn't say.
Since dh won custody summer '99, most of the time we don't even know
she's called ss on the kids' line.