Jeff, you've explained that your W has always been overprotective of the kids, considered them *her* territory and left you out. She can't do that now, she has to by law share them with you. I wonder if she considers it that way. When son gets hurt or daughter is crying it is always harder to deal with over the phone than it is in person. You know, when the phone rings in the middle of the night and you dread answering it because it will not be good news? I am saying this to offer a reason for W reacting how she did, and then once the initial reaction wore off she even apologized to you. She reacted, you reacted to her reaction and set your boundaries, and she reacted to your boundary. It sounds like a good step of growth for both of you. You do hug your kids and offer them hugs and a chance to talk with you, that's great stuff. When I read that you assumed you knew why your daughter was crying I wondered why you wouldn't just find out and hold her. It bothered me enough to ask, but does anyone else want to know?
A guy I work with is going to the Nascar race this weekend. I got to give him all my advice about traveling to AL, time, distance, and when he told me he was staying in Cullman I even advised him to pack his own beer. Felt good to sound smart.
Live your life while you are still living. Riding the trail less traveled.