After a weekend that flew by at ludicrous speed (a Spaceballs reference, in case your movie tastes do not lean toward the ridiculous), Gary and I dropped the kids off at the Hickville jail, the quaint and oh-so-child-friendly meeting place the court decided upon when Gary’s ex and her father thought it would be a stellar idea to behave like trailer park lunatics in front of the kids during drop-offs.
Sunflower and Bear had a hard time saying good-bye, so Gary hugged them and joked with them in the parking lot, trying to cheer them up. It turned into an impromptu stand-up wrestling match.
A police officer was sitting in his car parked a few rows away, facing us. While Bear and Sunflower leapt all over Gary, playing, Gary jokingly turned to the police officer and pointed to the kids attached like Velcro monkeys to his sides and his back. The police officer flipped on the car’s headlights, then the bright light on top of the car, and beamed the lights directly at the kids.
The look on their faces was priceless. Both Bear and Sunflower froze for just a second, and their eyes grew large at the prospect of their imminent arrests. Then Gary and I started laughing, and they relaxed and laughed too. After they were certain they were not destined for cell block living, they tried catching the police officer’s attention too and pointing to their daddy, but the joke was apparently a one-time offer.
It was a good weekend, but hearing the kids cry when it is time to leave has never gotten easier. I would love for Gary’s ex, her parents, and every lawyer and judge involved in forcing this arrangement onto the kids to have to sit in our living room and hear the kids cry when it is time to leave their father. And I’d love to hear each of their explanations of how this is honestly best for the kids.