Not everything has to be creepy and supernatural, you know.

Conversations with Bean:

Bean: If that was your last one and you used it, you have zero left
Mommy: That's awesome. What happens if I had two left and only used one?
B: Then you'd have one left. And if you used that one, you'd have zero left.
M: You're really good with numbers. Did you learn that in school or is it something you figured out on your own?
B: I figured it out on my own.

B: (grouping her animal magnets) These guys are all together because they have hoofs. Pigs have hoofs, goats have hoofs, sheep have hoofs, zebras have hoofs and giraffes have hoofs.
M: You're right - the all have hooves.
B: Cows and horses have hoofs too, but they aren't here. If they were here, they could join in the hoof party.

B: Can we go to a cemetery?
M: Not right now, maybe this weekend, though. I'll find one where you can walk around and look at the headstones.
B: And find Paul. (For those who don't remember, the death of Paul, a PT at Bean's therapy place, is what began the death/dying/cemetery thing)
M: Well, I'm not sure we'll find Paul because I don't know which cemetery he's in.
B: Can we try to find Paul?
M: Sure, I'll look. Maybe I can find a pet cemetery, too.
B: Maybe there will be horses.
M: Probably not horses, but dogs and cats.
B: What other kids of pets?
M: Maybe birds, hamsters, bunnies ...
B: If they just died that's okay, but if somebody killed them that's *not* okay.

So now I'm busily searching online for local cemeteries, for the cemetery field trip this weekend. I was hoping to find a pet cemetery locally, but there doesn't seem to be one. It's Memorial Day Weekend, so I'll be able to wrap a good message into the field trip, and we'll stop to buy some pink flowers for Bean to randomly distribute. See how I take something that's kind of ... oooky, and I make it into something kind of nice? It's a skill. A gift, really.

Stefany, I can't believe it's been a year, either. Time really flies ... Late April was the official year since I'd moved out, so that was a kind of rough time for me. And I still have moments of regret - not really for anything I could have changed, but regret that he didn't make his case earlier and regrets that our marriage didn't get the effort it deserved. And, I'll say it, I do miss him; or, more accurately, I miss all he was in my life - my best friend, my confidant, the person who knew everything and told me everything (except, apparently, the really important stuff ... sigh). That romanticized, rose-colored-glasses view of the past that makes us better at nostalgia than at carrying a grudge.

Dave and I have a very good post-divorce relationship. Currently. It wasn't always that way, but I've come to understand enough about why it wasn't that my more magnanimous side gives him a pass. The Catty Catterson side has a few snide remarks, but usually only when I'm in my cups a little and feeling all snarky. Going forward, we may have a few more rough spots, although I'm hopeful that the good relationship we're cultivating now will see us through.

One thing I'm thankful for is that even when we were smacking each other around verbally, we somehow managed to keep the kids on a completely different *planet* and never made it difficult for the other to have the relationship and the time they wanted with the girls. I know it's not always easy to put children first in a divorce, but because we were successful with that, I think it made a lot of other stuff easier.

The fact that Dave is an involved, fantastic father and I'm a great mom is another huge plus for us - often one parent makes it hard to respect their parenting skills and their commitment. I can count on one finger the concerns I had about Dave's parenting choices, but I'll let y'all guess the finger. Without that rock-solid faith in him as a father to the girls, I think the divorce and the fallout would have been much harder.

So a year after moving out, and 18 months after finding out my marriage was in trouble, I'm in a good place. And it seems like it's a place I've been both forever and for just an instant ... a kind of "I can't believe it's only/already been this long." I'm wondering if that's a pretty typical way to feel - it seems like it almost should be, especially in the first few years ...


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