One afternoon in my old neighborhood, a routine exit of our grade school bus with friends turned into something very different and unsettling.
That afternoon, we watched a custody battle play out in front of our young eyes. And we didn’t even know it at the time.
A father came by in a car and told his kids to get in. In retrospect, we knew the whole thing seemed wrong, but dad had assured these kids mom knew about it.
Hours later, when our friends’ mother returned home and her children were not there, the world seemed to stop in our neighborhood.
Like many children in our cul-de-sac, this brother and sister were latch-key kids, taking care of themselves while their single parents worked.
And in an instant, they were whisked away by someone they knew and trusted.
Those things stay with you as a child. And those memories come flooding back as an adult as I follow the story of the three missing children from our own community here in Harrisonville.
It’s not something I discuss a lot, but I am a single father. Of course, my wonderful daughter Adaline also has a wonderful mother, Aimee, and we share custody of her.
In the best way possible, we together on our time with Addy, major life events, birthdays, time with the grandparents and holidays.
In my opinion, there is no place for hatred, maneuvering or obstacles between parents when you are co-parenting.
Even if you cannot show your child an example of a successful marriage, you should show them examples of successful parenting.
I don’t know the situation between the two parents here locally. I wouldn’t even begin to try and fathom what has gone on previously with custody issues there. And beyond what I have read about the mom’s plea to see her children more, I don’t know what would have possessed her to break that parental trust and take her kids away from the house and lives they knew without consulting the father.
But again, each situation is different. The problem is, the “different” in this situation could be detrimental to the children.
Parents that do not work together for the betterment of their kids are not setting them on the right path for adulthood and, hopefully, successful relationships for their future.
Earlier this week, the missing children were discovered in Canada, with their mother, who will likely be slapped with a custody interference charge. Or worse, perhaps.
We do crazy things for our children. I know this. But some things are clearly out of the boundaries of love and caring and end up pitting kids against one parent or another. I grew up with kids that happened to and some of them never got over it.
John Beaudoin is the publisher of the Lees Summit Journal. To comment, call 816-282-7001 or e-mail email@example.com.