Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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Sarah and Eric. This is a secondary response to your kind remarks.

When I left Idaho, I left with an agreement.

It was not written on paper. It was an agreement between two adults who were divorcing and were trying to make it as amicable as possible. The plan was to make agreements about the house, finances, cars and the children between ourselves and then let the court finalize the decisions we made together.

I believed we were both acting as adults, with integrity. It's the modern era. It's the new thing in divorces. I thought it was the best thing for everyone. It was the biggest mistake I've ever made.

The agreement was that the kids would stay in Idaho until I obtained the following:

1) A job
2) A home
3) A school that would provide Avadore an education as good or better than the one he was receiving in Idaho

I got two part time jobs -- one working less than two miles from home and one working from home. I got a roomy apartment with a huge backyard, located in one of the best school districts in the nation. I bought bunk beds and some toys. I made their space.

And then I called Rice and let him know I was ready for the kids. And he said he'd changed his mind.

He'd decided that the kids were better off in Idaho with him than in California with me. His parents lived in town and he believed he had a stronger support system than I had in California. (Though a large part of the reason I went to California was because of the support system I have here. A support system that has only grown.)

And that was that. I consulted with lawyers and paralegals. They all told me the same thing. Idaho is a progressive court. I could move back, to where I had no work and no support system, and start a custody battle. Or I could start one in California, which would be insanely expensive and take years.

I remembered the story of King Solomon and the two women who claimed to both be the mother of one baby. Solomon's response was to split the baby in two.

I wasn't going to split my children in two.

I didn't want to make the choice I did and not fight for my kids. I wanted to fight for them so badly. I was their mother -- how could I not fight for them? But I kept thinking about how that choice wouldn't be the best for them. How could fighting over them across state lines be good for them?

And, once family court got involved, what would the ramifications of such a custody battle be? From all angles, nothing good could come from it.

And it was the hardest decision I've ever made.

I will probably be trying to forgive Rice for this for the rest of my life. And I've learned my lesson about when you can and cannot trust others.

Wherever I live, I ensure the kids have their space. Right now their beds are permanently set up in their room with their toys, bookshelves and books. I leave up the pictures they draw and put on the door and walls. They're not here all the time, but it's their room, and their home. I try to be as flexible as possible so that they can always come. I have tried to make it so it's their home, too.

It's the best I know to do.

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