My boys are scheduled to return from their first 6-week summer visit with their Dad on Wednesday. I should be overjoyed and beside myself with excitement, but I’m not. I think my mind just won’t let it happen until I see them walk off that plane-and for good reason.
Their Dad moved away mid-December, and we had agreed that the boys could spend Christmas with he and his family despite the fact that our custody hearing had not yet been set. It was their first time visiting him out-of-state, and our first time apart for Christmas. I was so excited to pick them up from the airport that I arrived an hour early. But, as I stood near the gate-stand and watched 2 other sets of unaccompanied minors get brought to their Moms, my heart started thumping. It became very clear in a very short amount of time that the boys weren’t on that plane. I was surrounded by airline employees panicking and assuring me that they had not lost my children, and I knew very well that that wasn’t the case. I told them that I understood, that their Dad had just kidnapped them. I stood there shaking and crying, my heart beating so loud that I was sure everyone could hear it. Passengers who were waiting to board the plane sat and watched the whole seen unfold as I screamed into the phone at my ex-father-in-law who wouldn’t tell me where the boys were, and calm down a little while my lawyer explained what would happen next. I’m never one to cause a scene, but that day, it really didn’t matter what was going on in the world around me. Cause they weren’t on the plane.
It took 45 minutes of phone calls to discover that my ex had told his parents that the flight left at night, and no one had even bothered to look at the itinerary. I had a good talk with the boys, scheduled them for the next flight (the next morning), and headed to the exit. I made it about halfway before I sat on the floor and bawled like baby. It took at least another 20 minutes of me sobbing on the phone with my best friend before I was able to stand and leave. For 30 minutes, I was sure that my ex had taken them, and that was the most traumatic experience of my life.
So, everyone will just have to excuse me if I don’t get excited right now. I just don’t think I have it in me to do that again.