Several months ago, February 20th, Gresham and I had been having a little misunderstanding as to whether he had to tell me the truth or not, and that when I asked him a question, whether or not he had to answer it. On that day, it was a question of where he had gotten a paint brush from in order to paint.
The situation warranted a spanking and I was careful to spank him over his pants, and pause between spankings to give him an opportunity to come clean by asking him where he had gotten it. He refused to tell me, and even when faced with the consequence of another spanking, he held to his resolve not to. He acceded to the discipline of being spanked, and I ended up giving him several spankings, one after another, with pauses and questions, thinking at one point he would give in and tell me the truth. That is when the sheriff was called.
Two sheriff arrived and asked questions concerning me spanking my son. I told them everything I had done, and they also talked with Gresham. In addition, they talked with Macy who had witnessed part of the event. After a little discussion, they asked if I would be willing to go to the sheriff's office to talk and I agreed. While there, I talked with a Child Protective Services worker and then spent the next hour or two waiting for them to decide my fate. According to the report, I had violated Gresham and was charged with Domestic Violence and taken to jail. The fact that I used a paint stir stick constituted domestic violence because it was considered a weapon to inflict pain.
I spent the night in jail, and was released the next day on my own recognizance; which meant that I signed that I would show up for a later court appearance, and promised not to do anything else illegal during that time. With a sheriff escort, I was given twenty minutes to collect whatever clothing I would need, stopped by the farm, got some clothing, and left the property due to a Temporary Protection Order on Gresham. And, I was not to return to the property until the matter was settled. The matter was settled July 10th.
I spent 139 days away from the farm, and away from my family. I did not speak, write to, or receive any correspondance from Gresham the entire time. I was though able to contact the other children. I spent the time staying with my mother in her apartment waiting desparately for the case to be dropped. I missed the end of winter, all of spring, and the first of the summer here on the farm. And then, like a light being turned on, July 10th the case was dropped! I was able to come home. Gresham was with another family for the night so I was unable to see him that day. But, the following evening, he came home. He had grown so much, had lost and gained new teeth, and used a whole new slew of vocabulary words! WOW, was it ever great to be home again.
Tomorrow is the three week mark of my return. The children have almost forgotten that I had been away for so long, and we are back in the routine of summer here on the farm. I have a few more weeks before school starts to finish the work around here to get the place back up to speed.
Thanks to all who have prayed for us in this situation. It has been a rough time, and God has been gracious again. :)