Today is the last day, in the morning I collect the keys that will unlock the door to our future and over the course of the next week, culminating in a big push on Mothers Day, we move house.
I always find moving a bit emotional. Your home, the rooms that form the back drop to your family’s life, almost become an extra member of that family. They smell right, or rather they seem not to have a smell, so familiar has it become that your brain forgets to notice it.
The walls that surround me have seen a lot in this past five and a bit years. The woman who moved in was a little highly strung, having just left a marriage and being about to embark on what would prove to be a very happy new relationship. The present was a mixture of tears for the past and hope for a better future. The rooms of this flat were almost empty – two deck chairs, a bed for each of us, a starter pack of plates from Argos.
In my time here I gained a lot of furniture and bits and bobs, a live in partner and a son. My bloke and I grew our love here, drunken nights and lazy days in bed when my older two were elsewhere, graduating to a more sober love and him moving in properly, bins and housework, less rum, daily slog, but still the love, and then our baby.
I look around the lounge and remember bringing our newborn boy home, just 5 hours old. Sitting on the sofa with my other half, gazing at this new little person with wonder. Now that same boy is still with me on the sofa as I type, but is playing a game on the Wii U, bouncing up and down, talking ten to the dozen. The walls here heard his first words, the carpets cushioned his first steps.
My middle boy grew gangly here, he lost his baby teeth here, he learnt the words ‘verdant’ and ‘placebo’ and all manner of other magnificent vocabulary. He grew from not much more than toddler to pre-teen, from tantrums to this current pleasant period of calm before the teenage storm.
My girl ran the gamut of her teens in this house. Her bedroom door miraculously still clings to its hinges. I found her braces in a bathroom drawer when clearing yesterday, no longer needed for her beautiful smile. She is an adult now, our new house will be more temporary for her than the rest of us, and we are both feeling the sadness mixed with excitement as she prepares to head to university in September. This will be the last house we will have always lived in together, in a few short months the new house will see me without her under my roof for the first time in 19 years. I will miss her, god I will miss her, but am so proud of what she is choosing to do with her life.
I didn’t like this place when I viewed it. It was cold, tired and unfamiliar. I took it as I had no other option. Turns out it just needed a family to fill it. We have laughed here, loved here, grieved here. We have argued, made up, hugged, danced and sung here.
In a week or so’s time it will return to the blank canvas it was when I first saw it. I will cry, probably, as I shut the door that last time. Of course all the things that made it a home are coming with us, and we will be happy in our new place, but I am a sentimental so and so and my bladder is too near my eye. I will have a brain produced montage of all the things that have happened under the protection of these walls and a small weep, then I will buy flowers for our new house and start a new chapter.
Can you thank a building? I doubt it, but anyway house, thanks for letting us be part of your history. You have stood for over 200 years – we searched the old census records once, finding the names of families who lived here over a century ago. We have added our names to that list, and maybe one day someone will search and find us. We were happy here.
Love Miss Cisco XXX