The other problem with X being in jail at this time was that we had also planned for the girls to go with him to Northern California to visit his side of the family for Thanksgiving. The tickets had already been bought.
X ended up getting X-tradited to Northern California for an outstanding warrant out there. X's sister was told he'd be in for 2 months. Definitely into the Thanksgiving holiday.
But we decided it wasn't fair to the girls - or to the rest of the family - to have the trip aborted because of X. So X's family paid the name-change fee for me to fly up with the girls instead, and even booked a hotel for me. The girls would stay with the family and I would get a little vacation.
Just days before our scheduled flight, X showed up at his mother's house. He'd been let out.
We decided to go ahead with our plan.
X was there with his sister to meet us at the airport. I ended up joining X's family for Thanksgiving dinner...which was really strange in how strange it wasn't. It was kind of good to see everyone again. They were so welcoming to me. They knew X. They knew the issues. They were grateful that I'd let the girls come up anyway, as they were anxious to spend time with them. The girls were thrilled, too.
After dinner, I checked into my hotel room and had a really nice 3 days all to myself. I got some uninterrupted time to work on my college papers and the like, saw a few friends from when we'd lived up there, but for the most part, just enjoyed the quiet. The girls would call me every day and I knew they were having so much fun. I knew X's family was making sure that they were safe.
At some point, X promised me money. As we were driving to the airport (I was driving the car his family had loaned me), he hands me a check.
I'd told him long ago, after the last check had bounced, that I would never accept checks from him again. He acted like I was being unreasonable. It got ugly.
I hated for the girls to see us, no me, like this. He's so damned good at pushing all my buttons, at bringing out the absolute worst in me. We both apologized, but I know that wasn't good enough. And I know I'm mostly to blame. I was mad at myself for trusting him. I knew better. I knew better than to expect him to do what he said he was going to do. This one was all on me.
The good news was that he was staying up in Northern California. We could back to it just being the three of us, and he could be the weekend-calling dad.
But wouldn't you know, not weeks later, he decided to move back down here again.