Friday, October 23, 2009


I’ve tended to blog about my feelings more than about specific issues. Today there is an issue I want to share with you – one of the many hassles and, dare I say it, prejudices that custodial grandparents have to deal with.
I sometimes travel overseas for business, and I have friends in three other countries. I’d like to take him with me, should a trip come up at a time he can be out of school. He also has a great grandfather who is Canadian, and will be buried in Canada when that time comes. Joe is approaching 90, and his health is failing. All of these things, along with a heartfelt desire to show him more of the world prompted me to apply for a passport (for Austin) some two months ago.
Today, the State Department sent a letter informing me that I must have a court order allowing me to travel with Austin. Now, my custody documents not only provide me with the ability to “make all decisions regarding the care and welfare” of the child, but they also impart important responsibilities. I am responsible for his medical care and all decisions, all financial obligations, etc. But I need to go back to the judge to take him on a Disney Cruise for vacation? (pardon me please, but WTF????)
I’m still in debt to my attorney for the custody. I get no child support, no assistance for his expenses. I have day care, cub scouts, soccer, school fees, clothes, furniture, and day to day activities, all of which are now my responsibility. The judge OBVIOUSLY thinks I am a responsible individual. I am a home owner (well, along with the mortgage co I am)… I have a job that I am unlikely to leave, not to mention a fricking private zoo…. And now I get to have another grand or more added to my legal debt. Because some jackass at the State Department thinks that having full custody of this child means everything OTHER than traveling with him. By the time I manage to get this sorted there will be no money for a damned cruise. And I am feeling a tad defeated.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


There are days when everything is so… right. When the sun has the right amount of shine, when the wind feels soft, when we just feel good.

And then there are days like this. I would not trade the opportunity to raise my grandson for anything in the world. Except for one thing. His mother (my daughter)’s wake up and regained (or maybe gained to begin with) ability to be a fully functioning woman and mother. If I had that, I’d be able to give up raising him. Much of the time, I can separate the two. In fact, I can shove my fear in a corner and ignore it. Mostly.

Then there are days like this one. When I discover that she has posted on some trashbag’s FaceBook page “Earth to baby daddy. Pregnant Girl here. “ There was more but why drag on a painful moment. I don’t know if I feel more like banging my head into a brick wall or just sliding down it for a good cry.

Austin was my first grandchild. Gracie, who has been adopted by a wonderful couple in FL was my second. There was a third, but they were aborted before I knew. (not that that child hasn’t been thrown in my face repeatedly) and now it seems there may be a fourth.

A friend of mine recommended that when I deal with my daughter, I should ask myself, What Would Jesus Do. I nearly came out of my skin on that one. WTF? That kind of thinking contributed to this to begin with! I tried so hard to help her every time she had a problem that I helped to keep her from learning how to be responsible. For those of you who are blessed to have never had to deal with an addict, there are a few things you need to know.




4. They blame everyone and everything but themselves.

5. They steal

6. Then they steal again

7. They are adept at making others accept blame or responsibility for their transgressions

8. They are the most charming people on earth


10. Did you get that folks? THEY LIE.

So What Would Jesus Do? Hell if I know. I keep asking, but so far I’m not doing such a good job at listening. I have, however, listened to the kind people at ALANON and NARANON. And I know that even though it might FEEL like I should let her come home, that I will not be doing HER a bit of good. Not to mention the damage to ME or most especially, to Austin. So today, when I got the email “Please mom, I have learned all the lessons in the world and I just can’t do any better than this, please let me come home I promise it will be different” I deleted the email with no reply.

And I feel like a dirtbag.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Best Boy in the World

I really must start using the recording program on my iPhone. I had this story all mapped out in my half sleep last night. Now my waking (haha) brain is behind the 8 ball.

I have a giant eraser. It’s just like the ones we used in school, pink, rectangular with angled ends. (keep this tidbit tucked away for a few moments)

This weekend, Austin and I participated in the Cub Scout Family camping trip. Now, we live in Atlanta, so camping in the early fall is usually a lovely thing. However, all those prayers to end the three year drought have come to fruition over the last 3 weeks, and we have had record rainfall. Combine that with an uncharacteristic early freeze, and you have a less than lovely weekend for a campout. It was 31 degrees when we woke Sunday morning. Austin was fine with it, but then he slept in my expensive, REI-good-to-30-below-sleeping bag. I did not. My feet were blocks of ice and my head, back and neck were stuck at an unnatural angle. I was not a happy camper. (yay, I’ve been waiting for a chance to say that!!!) The trip was great for the boys, and that’s really why we parents do it, so I’ll count the weekend as a win. We spent hours clearing up the tent and etc, spreading them all over the basement to dry. Our clothes were hosed off before we washed them (twice). All in all, we were both tired when we finally made it to bed late Sunday. Monday came along, and after working I rushed to the County Commissioner’s office to ask for funding to fix our neighborhood dam. Managed to make it to school in time to pick up Austin from the after school program (THANK GOD FOR ASP!!!!) and we merrily went home to make dinner.

Well, not really. Austin was grumpy, had a bad day in class, and I still had the headache that began Friday afternoon. We managed to get homework done, and dinner on the table. (I love leftovers, don’t you?) By then, I’m feeling faintly nauseous, and figure it’s a good time to get the dogs out for a walk, hoping the cool air will clear my mind and help get rid of the headache that half a bottle of advil, a handful of Tylenol and some allergy tabs have not yet hindered.

NOT the best idea. By the time we got back, I’m seeing sparks in my peripheral vision, and can smell something odd. (Verging on a full blown migraine). Austin ran full tilt into the bathroom yelling about something, and found me doubled over near the toilet. “Noni, Noni what’s wrong???” I told him I was ok, just had a bad headache. He left, then came right back. “Guess what I found Noni!” Now, what I WANTED to say was “get the hell out of here, I am dying, can you not leave me be for a minute to puke in peace?” Luckily, I managed, “hmm, no idea, can you give me a hint?” I’m watching those sparks all over the place now. He pulls up the giant eraser, and says, “Where does it hurt Noni? I’m going to erase it!!!” I showed him, and he began gently “erasing” my headache. When he was done, I stumbled to my bed, and the boy brought me a cup of water, two chewable vitamins, an ice pack, and a get well card that he just drew. He stood there and made me take the vitamins, drink all the water, then put the ice pack on my eye. (packing it gently around the pick that was IN my eye) Then he climbed into bed next to me and read me a story. I am telling you, I felt the pain drift away during that story! Then he carefully climbed out of my bed, brushed his teeth, and went to his own bed.