Dear Savvy Auntie,

The mother of my great niece and nephew is keeping me from seeing them after we became so close. She will not even talk to me to tell me why. Am I wrong to fight her through the court system? They think I just abandoned them one day I was there and the next not any more?

When my nephew and brother moved away and left the mother of my great niece and nephew with no car, no way to work and no help with babysitting, I stepped up and gave her rides ad help until she could get a car. Then when she had an opportunity to take a better job but couldn't because daycare wasn't open late enough or on weekend. I stepped up again. I picked the kids up from daycare three days a week and had them all day Saturday and Sunday every other week. Then she got in an argument with my mom because she bought the three year old a dirt bike and as the great grandmother had issues about it and didn't handle it the best. I still stuck up for my mom. However after that they were coming over for dinner once a week and we were working our differences. I have supported every decision she has made and helped her every way I can. Then one day she quit responding to my calls and text messages and when I went over to talk to her about why she called the cops on me to make me leave... No explanation, no goodbyes, nothing?

Great Auntie

Dear Great Auntie,

Your great niece and nephew have some sense of the situation (as most children know what is really going on) and hold deep in their hearts your time spent with them. They also are dealing with the feelings of their parents' separation and the loss of their dad and uncle. It is a lot for kids and I am wary of court being another stressor for them. You don’t say how long this has been going on, if it is less than two months or so, I advise you to give it a little more time and maybe your niece-in-law will come around. In the meantime, perhaps you could write her a letter telling her how much you miss the children and offering a suggestion of sending them a cute card and small gift just to maintain  contact and offering her your assistance in any way she might need.

Her calling the police sounds excessive and volatile; or she has something to hide. My suspicion is that she is seeing someone and doesn’t want you to know about it.

A dirt bike for a three year old seems very inappropriate and I wonder why you took your mom’s side on this issue. Your doing this may be her gripe with you.

It all seems very sad that she would take away a loving great aunt when the children are already adjusting to their dad being gone.

If you do decide to take her to court, I strongly urge you to consult an attorney and assess your chances of making a bad situation better or worse.

I wish you the best,
Natalie Robinson Garfield


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