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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Letting Go

Nearly at the end.   Fourteen months on, we have begun the process of repacking boxes. Time to move back to the other end of the street.

EB was two and a half months old when we moved out of Faulty Towers.  I allowed Husband to persuade me then that packing ourselves would be a good thing, an opportunity to declutter.  It was not one of his better ideas. A sleep deprived, hormonal zombie, I tried my best, but found myself unable to part with much. 

This time, I have the movers packing for me, the practicalities of trying to achieve it on my own with an inquisitive toddler as my right hand man just make a DIY effort impossible.  For the past month I have tried hard to streamline our possessions in preparation for our move. For every item I put into a box, EB has taken one out again, hidden it, broken it, sucked it, puked on it or tried to hump it. In his own way, he has contributed to the selection process.

The past year has been insightful.  Living with fewer possessions has made me realise that I don’t need so much ‘stuff’.  I will always be a sentimentalist, but I don’t need to hoard or hold on to quite so much.  That I value pictures and words, more than things or ornamental objects. That I want to try and lead a more minimalist lifestyle. (Clutter and paraphernalia that comes with children being the exception to this rule.)

I have challenged myself hard on the objects we should take back to F.T with us.   I have shed a few tears. Pip’s pram was sold on ebay; as I ran a cloth over the frame one last time and placed the carrycot on the chassis, I felt bereft. “I’m just going to pop off for a quick cry,’” I muttered to Husband. Some things have been harder to let go of than others.   Still, the Bugaboo’s new owners seemed very happy with it, joyfully pregnant with no 1, they looked in disbelief at my 4 year old lunatic bouncing around in a Spiderman costume as if unable to believe he had ever been small enough to fit inside it.

In the eaves of the loft, brand new in box, I found another pram. Miniature, with wooden wheels and frame, a wicker cradle and cream linen canopy. Bought from a toy store with a closing down sale - on impulse. Pip never showed any interest in it, so in it’s box it stayed. I held on to it,  in my heart, I hoped I might one day have a daughter. That one day, we might play with dolls and teddies, taking them for walks, putting them to bed, just like I did when I was a girl.  In the last year, there has been a gradual dawning, an acceptance. That there will be no more children. That I am the mother of two testosterone fuelled, wonderful boys, but I will never have a daughter. Never have the mother and daughter bond that I have with my own Mum and value so much.  I sent the little pram to the charity shop. They put it in the window. For two weeks, I walked past it every day, felt the twang of my heart strings, until one day it was gone.  To someone, I hope, that will love it very much.

In the study, sorting though the inadequate filing that has typified the past few years, I came across an envelope containing investigative findings from fertility clinics and early scan photos.  The lost ones.  Flashbacks. A confusing blur flooded with red. Time does heal; I think about them less now.  My hand hovered briefly over the dustbin bag. Yet, I could not let them go, those tiny diamonds of hope that had winked at me from a place of darkness.  Our journey together may have been short lived, but it still happened.  I chose to hold on to them; those grainy scan photos are the only proof they ever existed.

The Ikea kitchen table, bought pre-children and assembled by my Mum and I, along with chairs I sprayed in different colours, will shortly make it’s way to the council tip.  It’s chipped and bashed, it’s joints cemented together with the excess smearings of Pip’s porridge.  I remember the sunny day that Mum and I pieced it all together, our sense of satisfaction at completing our first flat packed adventure.  I remember, happy happy times, around that table. Candlelit meals, weaning adventures, crafting nightmares; paint dripping down the legs, makeshift Christmas dinners with the leaf extended and still barely enough room to fit all the plates on.  But it is time for something new.  Something bigger and more fitting to family life. It served us well though, that IKEA table.

This morning my bedroom chest of drawers sold on ebay. This afternoon, I will begin the process of sorting through it and removing all my clothes. This afternoon, I will confront The Pack of Big Pants, still lurking in the drawer.  What a difference a year makes. This time, I am ready.  It’s time to tell them, ‘Goodbye’.

On Saturday, the next chapter begins.