It occurred to me today that I have eased out of Shock and Awe and have transitioned into more of a “This happened and it wasn’t my choice but here we are” frame of mind.

Along with this, I am finally tired. I think my body has been running on adrenaline and panic. This also probably explains how I haven’t been sleeping or eating, but I haven’t been tired or hungry. One nice thing? I did lose 10 pounds. In six weeks. Without trying.

Yeah, you know you’re jealous.

Now I’m making the rounds, having dinner with friends. Last night and tonight, I had dinner with college friends who now have shorties running about. I love my friends and I love their kids. But as I watched a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old dancing along to Dancing With the Stars, I felt sad.

My friends have hectic households with dirty floors and Cheerios stuck to walls. But there’s a lot of joy.

I don’t necessarily feel the need to have a biological child. But I am grieving for the little girl I thought would be my stepdaughter.

I’m thinking about the time we pretended the couch was a boat and the carpet was a sea of chocolate pudding, and all the stuffed animals kept falling in and had to be rescued. And I’m thinking about coloring and swinging and riding bikes, of blonde hair and Little Mermaid swimsuits.

And I’m sad.

I’m not inconsolable, incapable of getting off the couch like I was a week ago. But I’m sad. Finding the secret stash of coloring books and such that I had tucked away for the Ladybug didn’t help. And I still have a beanie baby in my glove box in case of emergency.

I was a great partner. And I would have been a great stepmom. And my house? Really quiet.

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