I never want to go to court again. Having acted as my own attorney, I really can't imagine the stress that would go along with being a lawyer, living in other people's contention all the time. I take my hat off to those lawyers (I know of only a handful) who are able to do their job well, and maintain personal integrity.
It's difficult to stand on the opposing side of the man you spent 12 years of your life with. I fell in love with him when I was just barely 17 years old. We spent our entire 20's together. We created three of the most amazing kids. I have mostly all good memories to soothe the hurt that's also buried within. But, it surely is hard to focus on all of that when he becomes my enemy in court. I barely recognized him. I looked hard at him, and tried to. He's just different. Not the man I once knew.
Getting to court was an adventure, to say the least. We were caught in a blizzard and forced to turn back and drive back down the treacherous roads to stay in a motel for the night in Payson. But it kept snowing, and the next morning we were again turned back. The highways up to the mountain were both closed. Adam and I sat in the parking lot of a Home Depot waiting. On our third try, the road blocks were gone, and we flew the last 150 miles, as safely as icy, dangerous roads will allow. We made it to the courthouse (me pulling on pantyhose and slipping on heels and a skirt and blouse in the backseat) just 15 minutes before our hearing. Hectic all the way.
But still calm.
I am relieved to have this episode behind me. I trust that the judge will rule in the best interest of the children, and that things will work out as they should. I did the best I could. I told the truth. She will make her ruling next Tuesday by telephone conference.
Beside the reason for the trip, the rest of it, adventure and all, was so delightful. Adam was such a rock for me. He was calm and steady, he was a great conversationalist, he was funny and tender, and supportive. We had a great time together. He got to clear snow off a car for the first time ever (what a California boy!) It was a riot, as he complained about how cold his hands were. I was standing outside in my pajamas, barefoot in the snow laughing my head off. He is so funny, seriously.
Conor was with us, and was a champ the whole way. Strapped for days in his carseat and not a peep out of him. He loved being with us, and we loved his company. He got to see and feel snow for the first time. I miss snow!
He got to chase the chickens at Grandpa and Grandma Holiday's house.
My children were well cared for by friends and family who checked in frequently with them. And even though I know they're terrific kids, still my heart was warmed to hear that they had family prayer together morning and night, and they even had scripture study in the morning before school. Lyndsay cooked breakfast and packed healthy lunches (she even wrote love notes to the boys and stuck them in their lunches as I do every day!), Dylan kept the kitchen clean and cooked dinner. They went to scouts, Seminary, and YW. I am blessed and grateful for their competence and trustworthiness.
The trip was good. I feel stronger for it. I feel closer to my husband after it. I am more impressed with my children. And I came through the court ordeal with no hard feelings for the man whose name I once bore. I wish him well, always. I refuse to condemn him, because then I condemn a part of myself and my history.
But you know what they say, "When you learn better, you do better."