So, come 3 o'clock, all the saints I could call on were praying and I was repeating my verse for yesterday over and over again in my head. I should mention that my Dad went with me. He uses a cane to steady himself as he walks and we had to park three blocks away, and it was raining buckets, and we went to the wrong office in the wrong building, twice. It's a good thing I'm always early, because dagummit that was a royal screw up. Did I mention I'm a detail person? This stuff just doesn't happen to me, if it wasn't such a serious meeting, Dad and I would have been laughing at the hilarity of it all.
We got there with time to spare, and Dad should be exhausted for a week because of my screw up. My attorney showed up, he briefed us, confirming what I wanted regarding custody. Jonathan's attorney showed, Jonathan showed last, but was not late, surprisingly enough...
How these things go in case you ever have the awful need to know, is that the attorneys go meet with the mediator first to state what their clients want and then they come back out, tell their clients what the other side wants and then you all go in with the mediator to hash it out.
When my attorney, Max, came back out, he basically told me that Jonathan's attorney had no idea what he wants. So Max said, lets go in and find out. I went in with a resolve to speak as little as possible. BTW, no one has ever been to able to nail the moving target known as Jonathan down on anything. He just doesn't commit to anything ever.
We go in. Mediator states her role and Jonathan speaks. Long winded as usual. Finally the mediator asks me what I would like. I freeze and say "Umm," brilliant Shannon, brilliant. Then I look at Max. Thankfully he saved me. (That's what I pay him for.) He stated what I would be willing to accept. The mediator turns to Jonathan basically he says he just doesn't want a week to go by without him seeing them. So that's what he gets, a guarantee that seven whole days will not go by without him seeing them, as both parties agree. I didn't know I was a whole party, parties are fun. That's fitting, I'm fun! ;-) I have primary custody and we make decisions together regarding school, church, extra curriculars and neither of us can relocate to a place that would be too far away to make this agreement happen.
I didn't realize I haven't been breathing for so long. I forgot what it was like to breathe normally through my mouth and nose rather than through a teeny straw hole like I was. We walked out of that room and the angels and I rejoiced together. I could have collapsed in a puddle of happy tears right there on the floor if it hadn't been in the middle of a courthouse. Maybe even in the middle of a courthouse if only my ex hadn't been there. I don't have a very sensitive public embarrassment meter.
We have one more important meeting next Monday to decide child support and alimony and then the rest is just legal nonsense. Frankly I'm so relieved at this point I'm having a hard time caring about anything else. Although I don't want to move, I have my kids and we can live in a hut and eat rice and beans for all I care. We're together. Be still my beating thankful heart. It's ready to thump right out of my chest. Praise be to Jesus, thank you Spirit for your care and thank you Father for your loving hand on all of us.
|And filled with wonder...|