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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.

22 comments:

  1. I loved this post and really could comprehend the feelings you are having about coming to terms with not just the fact that there will be no more children but also the realisation that you won't have a daughter. I too have been through those emotions. Some days in still think about it now and feel a pang of wanting. But practicality wins out and I know the decision I made is the right one for our family. Doesn't stop that pang creeping in every now and then though but I think it is completely natural. I just remember to count the blessings I have in my little tikes as well. I can't believe FT is almost ready for the big family move in and I feel quite emotional for you! And proud. A huge task you set out on and have achieved!

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Lynsey - I know what you mean about practicality winning out :0) Yes, FT is almost ready...move day tomorrow. Fingers crossed everything actually works when we get in there! x

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  2. What a lovely post - simple yet tells a beautiful story. It's so tough to let things go isn't it? I've recently said goodbye to a lot of my children's old toys but kept a few with special memories - definitely the Favourite books. Good luck with the house move. In sniffing distance now! X

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    1. Agreed. It is tough to let things go. I think it's a gradual process. I know a year on I've been able to part with things that I couldn't comprehend getting rid of previously. Agree, re favourite books. My mum kept some of mine and I'm now reading them with Pip which is lovely. x

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  3. Oh goodness, poor you, on top of all this, having to let go before you're ready to see the back of everything. I think the rest of us get so piled up with kids paraphernalia that, in the end, we're forced for different reasons to move on. I feel for you about all that being brought too early, while you're still raw and it must be heart-wrenching. I still have pangs when seeing the tiny weeny beautiful clothes for girls that there are - whilst comparatively speaking, there is so much less for boys, yet now that my eldest is nearly nine and my friends with their daughters are already being treated to emotional stuff that is impossible to fathom, I am grateful for my two boys. The huge physical demands when they're younger are the price we pay for them, whilst those with girls (and I KNOW I'm generalising, but. so far, it's what my experience leads me to believe) demand theirs later on! So glad you're going home - it will be wonderful X

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Anya. It isn't easy getting rid of all the baby stuff but writing about it helps :0). Yes, the difference between boys and girls is so fascinating. I must say, my two can be a handful but equally my two god daughters - aged 7 and 5 can give them a run for their money. Definitely not easy! x

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  4. I have tears after reading this - your grief for the daughter you'll never have now (unless there's an accident) and finding those photos of your other babies - so glad you decided to hold onto the pictures; such an important part of you and your story. I am selling, and giving away Little A's old stuff now in the knowledge there won't be another and it truly is heart wrenching. I will be thinking about you this Saturday! At long last you are returning to FT. Enjoy every single moment of your new home - and please, please put up a few pictures! X

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    1. Heart wrenching is a very good way to describe it - I completely get how you feel. I will add some pictures of FT for sure, once we have made it look a bit homely. I reckon it's going to take a least 2 months to unpack all the boxes! x

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  5. Beautiful post, I often think the same about not having a girl and doing all the girly things I expected might happen one day (I mean it still might but I don't think I could stand to be pregnant again and 2 is quite enough!), it does make my heart pang a little, despite how lovely the boys are.
    I'm glad you didn't get rid of the scans, I think you may have regretted it-so sad though.

    Wishing you all the best for the big move-I hope you can share some photos of the new house after hearing of all the work you have done on it. I bet you are so excited and can't wait to be back in! x

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    1. Thanks Danielle. Hope to share some photos soon (ish) x

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  6. Oh my goodness, you have a way with words and even the exhaustion of a massive move hasn't diluted your ability to bring me to tears with your writing. It must be such a sad time handing over some of your treasure but it's one of hope too.

    Good luck with the move - once you're in, you can start to turn it in to your home xx

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    1. Thank you for reading and your lovely comment. Your home making adventures have inspired me and I am sure I will be taking my lead from you when looking for new cups and saucers :0) x

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  7. Good luck with your move. I have an idea how you feel. We went through the same thing a month ago and I know our days are pretty close in age. I can imagine the challenges but I hope once you get to were you going you will be happy :0)

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    1. Thank you for your well wishes. Doing these things with very small children is not easy is it?!

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  8. This is such a touching post. It made me quite nostalgic to read it! I'm a sentimental person although I hate clutter so I love chucking things out. I'd have saved the scan photos too though - they're really special.

    And ah, the old 'never having a daughter' chestnut. Been there too! I empathise totally. I always wanted three kids and imagined having two boys and a girl (I think probably because I have two brothers so that family set-up seemed the norm) but baby no. 3 was a third boy and I couldn't love him more. The thing is, although I do think there are some general boy/girl differences, my three boys are so different that I I can see that individual differences are far bigger than gender ones. I sometimes feel like we're told, as mothers, to expect certain things from our 'girls' and certain things from our 'boys' and also what a 'mother/daughter' relationship would be like compared to a 'mother/son'. In fact, we never know what our relationship with our kids will be like, particularly once they're grown up.My brothers and I all have different relationships with my mum and I'm not sure any of them fit into the typical boxes! Sorry, I'm waffling here but I think what I'm trying to say is we might feel like we could miss out on a special bond by not having a daughter but really all any of us want is that wonderful 'mother/child' bond and - hooray - any of us with kids can aim for that! That's my two cents worth anyway!

    Your writing is beautiful - you've made the mundane stresses of a move sound quite romantic. Good luck with it all.xxx

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and the lovely compliment too. I guess my notions of having a girl are quite stereotypical - and the reality is, even if I had a girl, who knows - she could have been the biggest tomboy going! I too am one of three, and I agree with you, what is important is having a wonderful mother/child bond. My youngest brother actually probably has the closest relationship with my Mum of all three of us. x

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  9. I've not been over for a while, so it was lovely to catch up with you and your family. What an exciting time ahead, moving back into your FT. I can completely understand the sentiments that go with de-cluttering. I recently had a cull of great proportion in my wardrobe. Some of the clothes that went into the two large bin bags for the charity shop held many a memory, and I too shed a tear. Goodness knows what I might be like if we ever get rid of the pushchair my boys used, which sits collecting dust in the roof space. Lovely to read you again. Glad you all sound well. xx

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    1. Thanks for popping over and catching up! I need to do the same at your blog :0). It is hard letting go, but a few weeks on I feel much better about it all. x

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  10. so i have spent the last two day reading each and everyone of your posts. i ver randomly came across your blog and you have now inspired me to start writing again! You big daddy Pip and EB are so inspiring and i wish you many many more years of love together!! off to write my first post.

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    1. I am sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your comment - the strain of moving house and no internet :0)
      Thank you for reading and it mans a lot to know you have decided to start writing again. Good luck with it all. Let me know your blog URL and I will come and visit.

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  11. This is such a lovely, and touching post.
    Very good luck to you -
    Emma :-)

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