What is different this year is having Reagan full-time during the school week.
So, there are some logistical things to work out, like clothes going back and forth between our house and BM's (which has NEVER previously happened), ensuring everyone gets papers sent home for parents and you know, just communicating. While that seems pretty simple and especially in Reag's third year of school, we might have it down pat, but not. even. close.
For the previous two years, we've had to get every bit of information from the school directly which sounds like no big deal, but sometimes we'd not even know there was information we needed to get. It was super frustrating, but we managed. We tried to ensure that we were an equal part of Reagan's education and school experiences. We were successful, as we had a good working relationship with her teacher, the principal, her guidance counselor, speech therapist, the nurse...you get the idea. ;)
As a result of that stress and frustration, we were determined to not reciprocate that for BM as we became the primary school parents.
In all the back-to-school events, prior to the beginning of the school year--touring the brand new school, open house etc., we made certain BM had the information so she could take part. When Reagan had an assignment last week to share about her life, we did everything we could to make certain her mom's side of the family was included. BM chose not to participate in any of it. Again, her choice.
I've come to accept years ago that we don't handle things the same with regard to children, so my expectations are different than they were when we initially met. However, my sadness for Reagan continues.
I don't know what it's like to not have my mom show up for my 1st days of school...because she was always there. I never had to say, "This is my family at my dad's and this is my family at my mom's." And with Andrew, we've always made certain his dad was included. Andrew has never had to experience his parents (and their significant others) and an inability to be in the same place. His dad flew across the country for Andrew's first day of kindergarten. Reagan's mother lived 5 minutes away and didn't show up.
I just truly don't understand not being a part of your child's life regardless of how you feel about the "other" parents.
On Friday afternoon, George and I were talking about how the week went and discussing the changes in custody, one thing that bothered us was that if Reagan doesn't get picked up at school, we won't know until some random time.
See, even phone calls are court ordered. Yeah, it's been that bad where we had to go to court specifically to get BM to let G talk to his daughter on the phone longgggg before we had shared custody. For the most part, that issue has been dealt with, but there is supposed to be daily phone contact with the parent who doesn't have her with them.
We've all gotten into the habit that if Reag left each of our homes that morning, then she actually already had her daily contact. i.e. there will be no phone call on Friday nights because Reag left our house that morning and the same vice versa on Mondays between BM's and here. However, we do ask her if she wants to call her mom on those transition days, so she knows she can.
Anyway, all that to say, if Reagan doesn't get picked up at school, it is possible that we wouldn't even know until Saturday nights when she's SUPPOSED to call George. However, with the phone calls being an issue consistently, we were not surprised that he didn't get a call this past Saturday night. You might ask why we don't just call...well, the reason we had to go to court for phone calls in the first place. They don't answer. And quite honestly, we don't even know what BM's phone number is. We have her husband's cell phone and one other number, but when Reag called it Thursday night, it said it was disconnected.
After some hopeful communication at court a few weeks ago between all four of us and a few emails throughout the week, honestly I was surprised that Reagan didn't call Saturday. I guess I shouldn't have been. It simply told me I had changed my expectations... to expect better.
I don't understand some things like having a kid lug a backpack to school filled with school stuff and adding a shirt, shoes, jeans, jacket to it because it "can't" be at my house. Her backpack isn't that big. I don't give a crap about the clothes. I just hate the burden is on the kid.
I recognize a lot has changed very quickly and there are a lot of adjustments to be made for all of us, so maybe some things will get worked out to benefit Reagan.