When my first marriage ended, and when I married the Badger, I listened to an interesting spectrum of opinions on the subject.
It took me a long, long time to come to terms with the idea of being a divorced Christian woman married to a divorced Christian man. It doesn’t sit well, you know? And some of the opinions expressed to me underlined that.
My grandson, at five years old, gets on famously with the Badger. They are good friends. But some things about our domestic arrangements puzzle my grandson. For example, it took him a little while to work out that the Badger doesn’t actually live in the woodwork shed. An easy mistake to make, given the amount of time the two of them spend there. My grandson will select the two largest spanners from the box, and offer one to the Badger. ‘Let’s be knights. I’ll be the good knight, and you can be the bad knight.’
Sometimes he sifts through the information he has gathered about his granddad and me. ‘Granddad is Mummy’s father,’ he’ll say: ‘and you are Mummy’s mother.’ Uh-huh. No word of a lie.
Yesterday, he asked me why I am no longer married to his granddad. So I explained ‘Well, Granddad fell in love with Nanny. So I said to him, if you love Nanny you must give it a go! See how you get on. So he did that, and then because I didn’t want to be by myself, I married the Badger. Good idea, eh?’
I spared him the complicated details, such as that I had a whole nother marriage between his granddad and the Badger. He just had the five-year-old version.
He thought about it for a few moments then gave his verdict.
‘I think it was a fantastic idea!’ he said.
Ah, if the world were peopled entirely by five-year-olds . . .