People live up to your expectations of them. My ex-wife told me several times that if I did not do things her way she would take our son and I would never see him again. She may have not said that exact sentence, because she said it several times but it was essentially that. After the second time I started to believe her and it was very upsetting to me as you might imagine. She sensed I was not relaxed and happy, which probably caused her to feel worse about us and or herself…the downward spiral. Long story short, I only have 500 words, we separated and she began to execute her threat. She received much help from a system and society that currently feels a great need to protect women and children from evil men. Which leads me to the next thing I wish someone had told me, Our judges and attorneys need to justify their actions in their own minds to avoid prison, they do not need to do what the law says. The law says men and women are equal and children have rights to both parents. A judge decides what they think is right and selects details to justify their decision. In judges defense I guess we all do that in our own lives.
Looking at my life today, I am extremely grateful for my life today. A wonderful wife and 3 healthy happy girls. God is great, kind and generous.
Looking back on yesterday, I clearly remember a flash of enlightenment. I don’t remember the spark that brought it on, maybe a moment of prayer, maybe and moment of laughter, maybe the feel of light snow crystals on my cheeks as I skied fresh powder. What I do remember was the click of the idea that had I just laughed when she made her threat and replied “You love Peter far to much t every do that to him” “You are a great mother.” “I am scared too, we are going to be fine!”…. You get the idea, rather than reinforce her threat and show I was ready to fight this fight with her I could have tried to elevate her above the lowest part of herself. Would it have made a difference, I will never know. Can it make a difference? Clearly it can. It has made a difference in me at different times. In high school things were not going well with my parents and I stopped having much interest to prove myself in my teacher’s eyes. I learned what I wanted to learn and they could “teach” anything they wanted. I just wanted out, so I got on the work program. Which meant I took fewer classes and received credit for work. Great for getting out of school, pretty stupid for a school that was given the mission of teaching kids valuable stuff. Anyways the brain surgeon they assigned to teach the “work program” class told the whole class that we were losers. Our whole generation was lost and beyond hope. We had been given everything and were going to do nothing with it. I am paraphrasing, its been 30+ years. In a way some of what he said was true, some of that is probably true of every group of 16 year olds. Being lost is part of being 16. My point here is that it was not a good idea to encourage despair or failure in the class. It was a huge difference from my 7th grade English teacher who told me I was intelligent and a wonderful person, I just needed to be a little less angry and focus on my dreams, because I could certainly achieve what I want.
Thank you to Mr. Wolfe my 7th grade teacher, you left a spark of hope under my 12 year old skin.
And thank you to Mr. Postem, the other guy, at least you passed me and sorry about how I might have contributed to your foul mood, I know I was difficult.