I'm not sure how much of my situation they are aware of, but this year's conferences were much different than last year. Last year the school tried to obstruct my access to my daughter's educational activities. I can understand how there could be some concern as my ex-wife is fairly convincing in her stories of how she thinks that I "may" be dangerous, but the school's policy states that they will provide the student's records to both parents unless there is a protective order stating otherwise. There was, and still is, no protective order so I continued to be persistent in staying engaged in my daughter's scholastic life. It was only after I mentioned consulting a lawyer that the school began to provide me with some of my daughter's records. Last year, the parent/teacher conferences had a heavy fog of tension in the air. This year was much different.
Yesterday's conferences went very well. Last year the school principal kind of gave the impression that she felt that I was some kind of diabolical madman who was on a lifelong quest to terrorized the mother of my children. This year I was treated like a parent. I guess the principal figured out that I wasn't attending parent/teacher conferences to further an evil plot to take over the world; I was just there to check on my daughter's progress like any other parent. I don't know what she told the other teachers about my situation but they were very calm and relaxed. They obviously didn't appear threatened by my presences and they didn't contact the police as my ex-wife instructed them to do. I don't know if the principal told them that I wasn't able to see the children. Maybe the principal told them that I am not the madman that my ex-wife continues to portray me to be. Maybe the school has figured out the tragic reality that my daughter was deprived of a father out of the spiteful and vindictive actions of others. I do know that the mood definitely changed.
My daughter is doing great in school. Her gym teacher said she was fearless. When I told him about some of the more extreme activities that we did, he smiled and said that he figured that had probably been the case. He said my daughter sometimes finds the gym activities to be boring. He thought that she may have been exposed to a higher level of physical challenge. In fact all the teachers said she welcomed a challenge. That's we always worked on. We competed in almost every aspect of life. Running to the car, video games, playing soccer, dance contests... you name it. We also focused on how we shouldn't blame other people for problems; because it's easier just to fix them and move on.
The most bittersweet moment of the conference was when her computer teacher said she was way ahead of the other children. The teacher said my daughter finished her work early that day and was helping other classmates with their computers. She said my daughter even knew how to do basic tasks on Microsoft Word like changing fonts. Of course she does. I taught her how to do that when she printed out name tags for her pre-school class nearly two years ago. My daughters were taken from me when they were 3 and 5 years of age and they already had their own laptops and knew how to navigate between some web pages. The depressing thing about my daughter's advanced computer skills is that I was punished for teaching my daughters how to use computers. Page 6 of the final decree states that I was "even instructing the children on how to use computers and to access the internet." Rather than assume that I was teaching my children the skills necessary to excel in life, they just assumed that it was part of my diabolical scheme to teach the children how to use computers and read at a high level so they would be able to read my internet content in a few years. Why would I want to waste time teaching my daughters how to read the websites that I have created when I could be teaching them how to design their own websites? Whatever the case is, not only is my daughter ahead of the other kids in her computer class, she understands her responsibility to help others along.
Things are definitely moving forward. I would hate to waste the time of my daughter's teachers but if my ex continues to claim that I present any emotional or physical danger to my children, I'll have to subpoena the teachers to testify as to how my daughter is confident, caring, and fearless, and demonstrate how many of our old activities helped my daughter excel in the things that she is doing now. Obviously I contributed something to the development of my daughters as it is evident that my oldest daughter is benefitting from the things that she learned from her father before he was taken away over a year ago. That's why I have to continue to work to get back into their lives so I can continue to contribute. Don't worry girls, daddy is still working hard to be your dad.