I didn’t want to write these words. Not a single one. I assumed my understanding of reality was accurate. My ex-wife was basically a good person who had her son’s best interests at heart and felt warmly toward me for being a great daddy, despite any intense moments we shared during our marriage that led to words better left unsaid. I’ve detailed and apologized for plenty of shit I’m not proud of. She never will. Clearly.

Tonight I took my boy to his mom on Sunday night during my on-duty parenting weekend for the first time since November 2019, when she first demanded I meet her in a gas station parking lot to “exchange” our son. O wasn’t happy about it. Just like he wasn’t the last time she started this illogical schedule without so much as a by-your-leave. Boyfriend stood in shadow when the door opened, arms crossed angrily over his Buddha-belly as if he had something to be offended by after his awkward, embarrassing and very public performance last Saturday at O’s theater class. The next day, she tells her junkyard dog attorney that I tried to “force my way into her house” when I dropped my boy off, notwithstanding the fact that I was shooting video of the entire event and informed them of that fact at the time. Twilight Zone for sure.

This attempt to carve me out of my son’s life is ultimately doomed to fail, but not before it costs us thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees. Not before they irrevocably change the basic nature of the reality O’s enjoyed for most of his short time on Earth. I couldn’t care less about the money. I’ll fight with every weapon at my disposal, both financial and rhetorical, to restore my son’s sense of security. His sense of right. They fucked with the wrong Marine. Okay. I’ve never been a Marine, but I feel that shit. As confusing and painful as this new paradigm is for us both, it’s infinitely better than living a fantasy where we assumed my ex still respected the loose confines of the parenting plan ordered by Hennepin County Court in December 2017 as part of the divorce decree she freely signed and followed religiously for almost two years.

I can’t begin to guess what sent her down this road last summer, but I don’t need to understand it anymore. Good riddance to bad intentions. My only job is to stand in the breach and protect my son from whatever bullshit comes his way next. Daddy up!

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