Tonight I spent 10 minutes scrubbing ink off of a dollhouse, because the toddler found a marker & thought it made a good canvas. It's a small, plastic dollhouse that doesn't get played with often. However, it belongs to the 7 year old; a gift from her dad. So, it means a lot to her.
It's strange how small things like that bring thoughts & feelings to the surface...
We were supposed to have court earlier this week, for the Contempt of Court charges for him not paying his support (among other orders in the divorce decree). He is now over $29,000 behind in combined support (plus interest). The hearing got postponed, so there's really no new developments at this point, other than the fact that he now has an attorney. However, in preparing for the hearing, I was doing the computations for the proposed child support modification & realized something: during the last couple years, when he has been claiming that he "can't afford to pay support", he has actually been earning more money than he did during most of our marriage.
I admit, when he first started using the excuse, I felt a lil sorry for him. I knew that hiring was slow at that point. However, after a few months, when all my other friends who are also welders started leaving for various shut-downs & new construction jobs, I gradually became less sympathetic. As the months passed, I finally realized that not supporting our children was a choice, rather than the result of a financial hardship. Then, as the visits & phone calls became fewer & farther between, it became even more clear...& baffling.
How is it the same man who assisted while I delivered our first child at home can now go weeks without talking to our kids? How does the same man that took turns comforting our daughter while she went through the terrifying process of transitioning into the home of strangers, & staying up with her when she had nightmares after visits with biofamily, now spend an entire summer merely a few short miles from the kids, but only visit them once?
Every time the house phone rings, once of them runs to answer it, hoping it will be him. Lately, it never is. It bothers them. They spent the summer at my parents, just a few miles from his home. He went and picked them up once. They aren't little anymore, they understand how close he was, so it was a choice to not see them. It gets to them sometimes.
I don't understand. I never will. I also know that, if it's this confusing to me, it is more so to them. I only hope that what I can give them is enough. Also, I continue to pray that he will find his way & become a loving, involved father again before it's too late.