I'd Go to Jail For My Kids
The strain on my family
I hadn't told Shawn and Claire about my fears that Rob could molest them, but I did explain that their grandfather sued me for visits with them. As this dragged on, it was impossible to explain why, on dates not of their choosing, they had to be delivered like a package to an old man they didn't really know.
My heart ached for Shawn and Claire. Because they were so stressed and confused by the visits, I let them know about each one only a few days ahead of time. Shawn, normally easygoing, would become withdrawn; Claire, who generally never says a thing when she bangs a knee or an elbow, complained about neck pains.
Before each visit, Claire would beg me to ask Rob if I could stay. It was hard to explain that I wasn't allowed to be there, that he didn't want me in his home. "He never asks us what we want to do," Shawn once said. "He just tells us. If we say we don't want to build a birdhouse or ride around in his car, he says, 'Did your mother tell you to say that?'"