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What kind of world are we living in?

9:56:00 AM Posted In , , , , Edit This 1 Comment »
Rob has been updating about the goings-on in our household lately. However, there are a few things I want to say as well. (I wrote this but somehow I ended up signed in under Rob's user info. I would repost it to correct it but we'd lose the comments.)

What kind of world are we living in? That our legal system is so quick to trumpet "Family Re-unification", "Save the Family"; and therefore so quick to toss the best interests of the child to the side of the road. I'm all for family re-unification. If, and only if, it is in the best interest of the child. I'm sorry if a parent is an alcoholic, an addict, mentally ill or abusive, or they simply don't care enough to be involved. I feel for them. However, it is not our responsibility to follow these "adults" around and try and force them into roles they obviously have no interest in or are simply incapable of filling. It is not our responsibility to make sure they do the right thing. If they choose the substance, the illness or the actions above the child; they have made their choice. Why should we continue to give them second, third and fourth chances to make "the right choice"?

If I have $50 and I choose to spend it on myself rather than on my children. That is my choice. I have made it. Was it the right choice, not likely but that is something I (and unfortunately my children) will have to live with. No one is going to follow me around while I'm shopping with my $50 and ask me repeatedly, "Are you sure that's what you want?" Why should we follow these "parents" who have made their decisions around continually asking, "Are you sure that's what you should be doing?"

It sucks that the children pay the price for our follies. It sucks that they will remember someday that Mommy or Daddy made the wrong decision. It sucks that those children will likely harbor ill-will towards their "parents" for the decisions they have made. But that's life. We cannot possibly protect our children from everything because then they would experience nothing. That's not life.

Life is painful and bloody and ugly. Yet at the same time it's sweet and beautiful and joyful. When we attempt to protect them from everything, we deny them the opportunities to experience life in all it's beautiful, twisted glory.

While we can't protect them from everything; in today's legal system it seems nearly impossible to protect them from anything. Including the big bad wolf that is known and knocking down our door. Nevermind trying to protect them from the big bad wolf that lurks in the shadows and is yet unknown.

What use is it to be a child's sole custodian when your opinion in the "best interest" of your child, doesn't matter. Logically, we should be the one's who know our children best. And therefore are most equipped to say "Yes, little Johnny can handle this." or "No, that's way too much and would throw little Johnny into a tale-spin." Yet, when we attempt to do this. When we attempt to fulfill our roles as advocates for our children, the courts label it as "parental alienation" or "custodial interference". They chastise us and say, "Bad parents! How dare you!" and slap us on the wrist for speaking up.

All the while we have the "non-custodial parent" on the other side of the court room. Drunk and stoned half out of their minds and the court commends them for showing up at all. It doesn't matter that they are under-the-influence, after all, isn't it great that they showed up! "Yay for the non-custodial parent! You came to court to fight for your child drunk and stoned! Here! Have a gold star!"

How did we get here? How did we manage to jump from one extreme to the next? It used to be that men automatically received custody because they were the man of the house and society was a "good ole boys club". Then it was the mother automatically received custody because they were the mothers and it was cruel to take a child from its mother. Now it's supposed to be a fair game. It's supposed to be the child "wins" and the best parent for the job receives sole custody. But that's not quite right either. Now it's the parent with the most money, the best attorney or the smarmiest attorney (the attorney who is willing to win at all costs of self-respect and reputation), or the best connections wins.

Some people will deny this. You can tell these people by their indignation at the idea of a biased legal system. And God bless them for it. Those few people are the only ones keeping our entire legal system from sinking forever into this moral quagmire we have created for ourselves. They are the ones on the street corners protesting. They not only know what the Bill of Rights are; but they exercise those rights. Our country has found itself in an on-going popularity contest. With our citizens going with the "popular vote"; rarely going against the grain to stand up and say "I'm going to do what's right".

Unfortunately, until we can find our way out of this disaster we've created for ourselves...until we can truly become "one nation under God, indevisible, with liberty and justice for all" our children will continue to find themselves stuck in the middle. Bad parenting won't be a negative thing because what does it matter if you are a bad parent; if no one else cares. Children will be lost in the system. Hearts will be shattered and bruised and the "cure" will be getting even. Our children will continue to look in the wrong places for love. They will continue to turn to deaf ears for help. Parents and children will continue to place their faith (the only thing some of them have left) in a legal system that proclaims to protect them. Only to have their hopes dashed and their faith lost because the "good guys" rarely win. And the "bad guys" rarely see justice.


Tressa said...

Well spoken, and I'm so sorry that your family finds itself stuck in this distressing dilemma. My sincere hope is that if we all continue to stand up and fight for what truly is best for the kids of the world, someday the lawmakers and courts will have to take notice. Stay strong!

Peace and love,

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