Her strategy was simple. Sabotage every visit. Every time.
No time to just let them be kids. No time to just let them be.
That might mean they had fun. That might mean they wanted to come back.
That might mean for the 48 hours they were here, she didn’t exist.
And that wasn’t an option. She was going to keep them from having fun.
She was going to control them. At any cost.
It was Friday March 19, 2010 when it started.
Liam was 7-years-old and today was the beginning of a long weekend off from school. Jack had picked up the kids early that morning and after a home-cooked breakfast, everyone went for a long hike in the woods and exploring in the creek. For all intent and purposes, it had been a typical day at our house and a great day to just be a kid.
It was bedtime. Liam was sitting on his bed wearing his pirate camouflage pajamas.
Restless. Nervous. Fidgety.
He kept saying things like – How will we survive? How will we get out? I don’t want to drown.
His brain was on overload.
We tried to decipher his seemingly random thoughts.
The confusion continued.
What’s the plan, dad? I need to know before I go to bed.
He refused to sleep until his concerns were resolved.
He should’ve been exhausted. He should’ve been wiped out.
He should’ve been asleep by now.
Kneeling beside his bed, Jack asked –What’s wrong buddy? What are you so worried about?
He stared at his hands. Head down. Afraid to make eye contact.
After a deep sigh and a never-ending pause, he began to speak. Mom told me the dam would break while I’m with you and Cheryl this weekend and I’ll drown in my sleep. I want to know how we’ll get out, dad!
For the next 20 minutes, we came up with a plan.
For the next 5 weekends, we ran through the plan together.
So Liam could sleep.