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Knee-High by the 4th of July

julycornA couple months ago, I watched Farmer Frank plow his fields and plant his corn in his usual meticulous, parallel rows. Now each time I drive by his fields, the corn appears to be growing so fast I can almost see it happening, like one of those slow motion sequences on the National Geographic channel. Tiny green sprouts peeking shyly from the dirt as I pass by on my way to drop my daughter Violet at pre-school in the morning, seemingly three inches taller by the time I pick her up in the afternoon.

Knee-high by the 4th of July, so the saying goes.

The corn is growing as fast as my life is changing. Yesterday I went with Serge to pick up the keys to his new place and get the kids excited for their new house with him. Then we came back to my house, and Serge spent the afternoon mowing my lawn and packing up his stuff. I made dinner, and we talked about the upcoming moves to our new houses.

The whole minimalist mindset thing is coming in handy as, instead of arguing over who is taking what, we both keep pushing the other to take things.

“You want the coffee table?”

“No. You take it. Your living room is way bigger than mine. I’ll keep my eye out for a smaller one.”

“You should take the blue curtains in the living room. They’ll look really good hanging at that big front window in your new living room.”

“Cool. Thanks.”

If it all sounds really depressing, it is. But it’s also peaceful. We’ve had our bad moments, believe me. But, for the most part, we’re so exhausted by the years of arguing about nonsense that we just stop now. Our emotional endurance for fighting is all used up, the same old bad habit energy that guided our relationship is dissipating as we both focus on making this transition as gracefully as possible for our children. We seem to be maintaining a kind of formal respect for each other that didn’t exist for the nearly ten years of our marriage, and I have to say — it’s kind of nice. I like it.

Today, Serge will begin moving his stuff to his new place. We plan to give the kids a few weeks of getting used to their new house there and then I make my move to my new house at the end of the month.

By the time the corn is knee-high, I’ll be gone.

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