A couple of months ago my soon-to-be-ex and I went to court-ordered mediator to try and work out a custody agreement. This is standard for any parents who don't come to the agreement on their own, and if there are unable to reach agreement in mediation, the mediator makes recommendations to a judge, who usually just puts those recommendations into a formal order.
This is tricky ground. While I didn't want to agree to anything with my ex that would give him a greater share of custody than I felt comfortable with, I also took a gamble in leaving it to a mediator to decide.
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And when I got home from that mediation meeting, I wanted nothing more than to take my son out for a little Mama/Baby date to celebrate (though that seems like a strange word to use, I'm having a hard time coming up with a better one right now)...something on his level.
Today's New Activity: Introduction to Jamba Joy
I've mentioned lately that Monkey's been teething, and as every mom knows, that can lead to entire days during which a kid will be happy to consume little more than a few cheerios and a cup of juice. As a parent, this is troubling. While you know they will survive just fine, you long for a return to the days of smeared peanut butter-and-jelly hair, knowing it was evidence that some kind of eating had taken place. I wanted to take the baby out for a treat I was reasonably certain he'd like and which would provide more nutrition than the scoop of ice cream he'd certainly have gone for.
So it was that Monkey had his first Jamba Juice, Peach Pleasure flavor. Well, about 4 ounces of it anyway. Progress!
After that we went to the nearby library and then the park, where I pushed him on the swing and watched his eyes, so full of joy and innocence and wonder...and I felt immense relief.
To the mediation meeting, I'd brought the happiest picture I could find of my son. I took it out just before we entered the mediation room and told myself that I would do everything I could to ensure he always retained that joy...that inasmuch as I could help it by providing him with a peaceful, loving environment, he would remain the happy child he has grown to be. Holding him in my heart, I told the truth and am mostly at peace with where that will take things.