I don’t do two a days very often any longer, the pace of my life rarely allows it. This is semi related though.
To many of you I seem all wise and sage and put together. I thank you, and I am *sometimes* but my history is full of not great choices as well.
There is a school of thought that because I have lived and walked in some shoes it means that I can give advice.
Well the thing is anyone can give advice, but sometimes it is not good and sometimes it is ignored.
I don’t talk about this much, but with my special special gift from the First Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania today, well I need to vent a little. I need to share a little. Quite honestly I need to scream a little but it would disturb the house.
I recall a conversation with my ball player ex about children. This is before Clyde got here obviously. I thought we were not serious enough to be talking about something so permanent, and I thought that I could exit stage left before he produced a diamond.
I was not a settle down type in my 20′s. Some may say that I am not in my 30′s and with 40 tying her shoestrings but Bonnie & Clyde have domesticated me.
That baller ex decided that he wanted kids, hopefully a son. I had to explain, babe I don’t control that. That didn’t pan out, we had other issues, big ones that could not be resolved. I think now though, at least that may have been worth it since I ended up pregnant anyhow.
When I met THE ex, I did think about children. He was the only one that I could see wanting to carry a child for, and raising that child. A tiny reminder of him forever and ever. That did not pan out either, and there will be no opportunity for that to pan out.
A lil less than a year after the ex I met Mario. I never loved Mario, by the time I got pregnant I didn’t even LIKE Mario.
We had a steady time, that I wanted to keep light and airy. He asked me one night…would you like to have a baby with me? I smiled at him, and made sure that I supplied the condoms from that night forward.
The universe had other ideas though and Clyde took root.
When I got pregnant with Clyde I thought I would be one of those power women in her suit and sneakers pushing a baby carriage and dictating into a recorder.
The universe had other ideas though.
Turns out I am much more maternal than I thought, and then a plane flew into Tower 2.
Through my pregnancy Mario was alternating ecstatic and angry. That can happen when you tell a man I want this child I do not want you.
Once Clyde got here, things went from bipolar to singular. He’d finally gotten the message that I was not going to change my mind about him, and his attitude was okay….well fuck all of it then…see ya when I see ya.
At first he talked a good game about wanting to be involved. I was inclined to believe him because he was very involved in his daughter’s life. Then one visit in 5 months told me what the real deal was and it was off to Family Court I went.
I was not going to be one of those mothers who had to fight for custody or support when the kid was 12. Let’s get it all done, in black and white, and then there won’t be any questions.
The custody hearing came first….Mario didn’t show. I was not surprised. In the state of Pennsylvania the only penalty for not showing up for a custody hearing is that you have to reschedule. I was awarded full legal and physical custody of Clyde and that has never been altered or challenged or questioned. Not in 9.5 years.
The child support hearings were a little different though.
There have been a total of 12 in the past 9.5 years.
Mario showed up for all of those…in the state of Pennsylvania the non custodial parent failing to appear for a child support hearing results in a bench warrant being issued.
The initial order took a year to be finalized. Mario fought me every step of the way. He thought that the amount of the order was unfair….it doesn’t take $500 a month to raise a child.
Now mind you this was well before Clyde’s Autism diagnosis….he was just a typical child. That it didn’t take $500 a month to raise.
In 9.5 years I have never ONCE asked for an increase in payments. Not when Clyde was diagnosed and I did not have insurance and I had medical bills up to my titties. Not when Clyde outgrows 3 pairs of sneakers AND school shoes in a year. Not when it took until 8 to get him potty trained and I had to but pull ups for him. Not when it was time to get school pictures, or go on school trips or when I took my change to the Coinstar machine to be able to buy tickets to an Elmo show.
I simply took what was ‘donated’ and made it do.
I didn’t ask when I had to leave employment the first time because Clyde’s needs prohibited me from working full time. I ask not now, not even when I am in the worst financial state I have ever been in.
In 9.5 years I get it, and I don’t bother.
Mario has just been a non mother fucking factor aside from my multiple trips to Family Court for the magistrate to tell Mario, no you may not have a decrease in child support.
To be honest I was a little surprised to get the notice…..he hasn’t tried in years. I think it was the last time that I slaughtered his lawyer – yes he paid a lawyer to appear with him – that he realized that resistance is futile.
According to the paperwork, his salary has decreased (I know different but I can not PROVE different) and he thinks that because Clyde is school aged that he should not have to pay for any possible child care fees.
God bless his little heart.
I am not looking forward to having to meet Mario in court AGAIN – but I have bigger things to worry about. My court date tomorrow has a much bigger impact on the family than Mario being petty and bitter.
All in all it could be much worse. I’m not complaining….just venting a little.
It would be way cool though if I didn’t have to keep dancing THIS particular dance.