In the Raw. When I wrote the business plan for our little endeavor, I had intended to open a brick-and-mortar location within one year of initial launch. So far, we are not even six months in and it looks like we may be ahead of schedule if renovations only take a couple of months, as we anticipate.
In the meantime, our little food truck has been closed a couple of weeks of January because of the freezing temperatures, which has given me some time to work on the back end of the business, getting things organized and doing planning for the new venture. I came down with the flu that seems to be going all around Hot Springs this week, so I called on an old employee to run the food truck. Her bubbly energy and great work ethic has been such a breath of fresh air, both to my confidence that I will be able to leave the truck in someone else's hands while I focus on the new restaurant; and to our guests, whom I'm sure may get tired of looking at my same old face day in and day out.
As for the little man, the whole guardianship deal is slowly going through the legal system. We see each other about two hours a week, and it's not nearly enough, nor is it remotely fair. However, I have a wonderful attorney and we are confident that we will win this in court. I knew that the last big hurdle I would have after the great devastation of 2015 would be wrestling him back from my father--if I'd listened to my instincts over two years ago, I'd never have signed that blasted document. I realized within weeks that I'd been duped, and every step I've made since then was to get him back. I knew the journey was going to be difficult. I knew I'd have to prove myself. I knew I'd get a fight every step of the process. I just wasn't yet prepared to have to be away from little man during the months I'd be fighting it--that's been the hardest. I have good days, and I have bad nights. Nights where I wake up covered in tears over some nightmare over my little boy. People tell me I should get revenge on my dad and not let them see Walker when I do get him back under my roof, but I'm just not built that way. I have no time or inclination to hold grudges. I don't see the point of keeping my baby boy from people who love him. However, I will be extremely cautious when I do have him back in allowing my father any kind of leeway or benefit of the doubt in the future concerning my son. Once a person's lost my trust, it is for a good reason, and usually too many reasons to count. I spent over two years under that roof being watched like a hawk and controlled in every aspect, including trying to force me to be on medication I didn't need that made me like a zombie. Being away from there has done wonders for my mental well-being, and apparently, my ability to move forward professionally.
In the meantime, Walker and I spend as much time bonding and being as close as possible when we get to see each other, and it gets me through another week. I'm stronger than I ever imagined I could be, and surprisingly getting even stronger with every day I have to wait for the courts without my little precious Walker. There is no way I'm going to break down, no matter how long this awful affair has to take. I'm building a future for us that he will understand and appreciate, because he hurts just as much as I do over this entire matter and he's smart enough to understand what is really going on. With everything we've been through, the victory will only be that much sweeter for both of us. Never again will we be forced to put our lives into other people's hands. We shall control our own destiny--with a ton of wisdom and experience under our phoenix wings.
Until Next Time, Eat Raw, Live Long!