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2010-01-28 - 9:51 p.m.

Thanks for any prayers for our family. I really appreciate it.

The summons for the legal action of the school showed up five days after I received notice of a hearing to go back to Circuit court as Westley is seeking full custody. The school thinks I am the "bad guy" as I had to call the sheriff to enforce my custody order and my right to bring my daughter home on an occasion after a weekend with her Dad in which he told her she doesn't have to go with me.

So we do need lots of prayers.
Unfortunately over the past year the girls have gotten a clear message from their father that he does not accept ANY WARMTH toward me in his presence. He volunteers at school and is ever present there- eating lunch with them a couple days a week, and in their classrooms. I am therefore not the PTO mom. I stay away from him and show up for school events and try to be gracious.

However even before Christmas, at the school play- my girls wouldn't give me a hug goodbye before the holiday as Daddy brought them to that event.

What is so sad is that because of the message the girls have gotten and what is ACCEPTABLE in the eyes of their Father who I believe they must be terrified of defying, the girl unnaturally act so negative toward me.
Their demeanor changes when they get home with me after a time. They are angry and volatile and negative at first, but then relax into loving normal kids after a bit.
However the school is only seeing their behavior toward me and making their own assumptions. Sadly they are terribly mistaken- yet I know they THINK they are supporting my girls and THINK they are intervening and THINK they are helping!

Its just a shame, as if he does get full custody the girls will LOOK like things are better: They will have hair combed and be on time and all be wearing matching jumpers as if they fell off the page of an LL BEAN catalogue. Yet its so sad that as a parent I am being judged by those exterior things and that no one really knows what goes on in each of our homes.

In part I haven't gotten them to time on school EVERY day as I BELIEVE that as a parent if we so tightly control our children and force them to do things they don't have those learning opportunities.

So I don't take on responsibilities that I believe ARE age appropriate for each of my girls.

I think it is ESSENTIAL for my girls that they learn to navigate in life without someone else managing each and every choice for them.

OH well, I actually felt LESS stressed about getting them to time this week than I have in a LONG TIME

I mean they already brought the case before the court. In some ways it was a HUGE RELIEF! That threat is no longer hanging over my head!
If convicted of non compliance with the mandatory attendance laws, it is a charge of a class 3 misdemeanor, which is the equivalent of a speeding ticket.

No one judges others that harshly for having a speeding ticket and we all know a large motivator is that it is a source of REVENUE, so I think I finally understand WHY there might be a push to use the law to crack down on attendance.

I was thinking it was a total waste of taxpayers money over a frivolous matter. Speeding is dangerous, whereas being late isn't exactly a public hazard.

But some think speeding is often enforced not only out of a concern for safety, but also as a means of GENERATING revenue. If the income from tickets covers the cost of the traffic cop and court process, that would be a plus. But even if it DOESN't- it keeps all those other folks in business anyway! They then make money, even if the entity issuing the ticket doesn't realize any gain.

So once I realize that - I think there might be a motivator in cracking down on tardiness! Monetary fines are what I think are imposed for Class 3 misdemeanors most often.

It occurred to me I could plead NOLO CONTENDARE as I do for traffic tickets.

"NO contest" whatsoever.

I could also plea bargain.

However I think I prefer a trial in this instance as I think it is so obvious that being late is not a violation of the Compulsory attendance code.

They need a guinea pig to use to test the legal theory and try to set a precedent. Why not one who would go all the way to the State Supreme Court Pro Se if need be just because it might be fun?

I think I am the perfect candidate.

This is a very interesting Constitutional Law issue.

I am re-framing how I look at this legal action.

I am now looking at it as yet another amazing opportunity that I never could have imagined for myself.

I have the chance to once and for all IMPACT our social policy and put a STOP to schools THREATENING parents.

Really-- It is just SO WRONG for schools to threaten with legal action.

I found a poem I wrote over a year ago scrawled on a piece of paper. It was about how I was having CHEST PAINS over the stress of trying to get my kids to school on time.

It was about the ANXIETY and FEAR that I was filled with in that moment.

The poem was about how I realize WHY I was OK with our occasional lateness- why I ACCEPT my strengths, try to strengthen my weaknesses, but am forgiving of myself (and others) when we fall short.

The poem was about how FOR ME , at that time , it felt just so UNHEALTHY for me to have set an expectation that was causing such pain and stress.

I wrote how it just isn't worth a Heart Attack to get my kids to school on time every day.

I think I owe it to my kids to have my priorities straight and realize that to keel over by stressing over being on time is not in their best interest in the long run.

Of course growth is hard and is painful in the process. So I choose to undergo the stress and pain of trying to be prompt all the time in the morning. However at the point of chest pains I realize that was just not only ridiculous for me to stress so much over what might REALLY in fact not be a REALISTIC EXPECTATION for me, but literally "overkill."

I am definitely one who learns by doing. I have learned tax law and business law and real estate law through the process of a running a business of a Partnership and house flipping real estate (when the market was good). I learned family law through the process of experiencing it. I have learned contract law through the process of participating in negotiation and drafting contracts for a large corporation.

I studied all those things in law school, but didn't RETAIN each area very well!

So now perhaps it is time for me to really learn constitutional law.
Nothing like the practical application of knowledge to really get it down.

Perhaps I will fare a little better this time around as I also have finally learned a bit more about both procedure and evidence.

I'll pass that BAR EXAM yet!

This perhaps is just another stepping stone along the path of my own growth.

I will tell you this however: It is more likely that I will pass the BAR than it is that I will become someone who is NEVER late!!


So I am now welcoming this latest experience as a GIFT.
It might just be the motivation I needed to stay focused on my goal that I kind of had given up on lately (or at least put on the back burner) as I was putting the kids first.

Perhaps it really is time to start thinking of myself again and working toward my personal goal of the BAR EXAM again!

PS: I almost forgot one area of law: Time to refresh my knowledge of CRIMINAL LAW as I look up Class 3 misdemeanors. I do know one thing about those in VA: If you plea bargain and don't repeat the violation, the charge will often be thrown out after a year. Then you can file a motion for EXPUNGEMENT and then the RECORD can "poof" just disappear so it can appear that you never were even involved in any case! At least that was what happened when my Ex husband was charged with the Class one Misdemeanor of assault and battery by the Commonwealth- on all three occasions.

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