It’s the final night in our house. Tomorrow, between half 8 and half 9 depending on the weather, the removalists arrive and pack our worldly goods into either sea or air freight. We’ll see everything on the other side (I’m kinda thinking it might be like a really predictable Christmas, where you sort of know everything you’re going to get but are still mildly surprised when it arrives).
I love this house. I love cooking in the kitchen while chatting to people sitting at our table. I love the busy front yard, sitting on the stoop, watching people go by. I love balmy nights with the back doors open and cosy winter nights cuddled in the front room. I love stormy days huddled in the girl’s room, feeding and snoozing and hearing the rain pelt outside. Perhaps the thing I love the most is lying in bed before dawn with the balcony door open; the chill air, glimpses of trees and bird song juxtaposed against the snuggly warmth and comfort of my bed.
I don’t consider myself to be a sentimental person, but this week I’ve been almost maudlin. I realised this afternoon that it would be the last time we would hang out in her nursery as the day wound down. It’s my favourite part of the day. We head up there after she’s had her dinner, glass of wine in hand (mine, but she’s usually grabbing for it. That’s my lass). If we’ve guests over, they frequently come with us for an unconventional cocktail hour, but more often than not it’s just the two of us. I plop her down and let her roam. When she was small, she’d lie on the mat and I’d watch, exhausted and scared, as she struggled to raise a tiny arm or keep her eyes focused on one of the dangling toys. The most subtle of movements became everything when she did it for the first time. Sometimes we read, but generally my girl is more interested in moving, exploring. There are days I ignore her and read a book, play on my phone, watch something on the computer; these afternoons are more about restoring my sanity than active parenting. On golden afternoons, like today, we play off each other. Each of us does our own thing (she chewed paper, I packed her winter clothes) but keeps the other in check – a side glimpse, a brief touch, a feverish shake of the head when looked at (her new best trick) followed by a guffaw (she thinks she is hilarious); it feels natural, relaxed. It’s our time, and it feels like we both know it.
Mel came over for dinner tonight, armed with two bottles of wine and a platter of presidential proportions. I lived with her when I first moved home from Ireland, and we moved to Marrickville together not long after (and it was through her I met my Tim) – it felt fitting to spend my last night in Da Ville necking wine and scoffing cheese with her. I feel so grateful for her, for all the friends we have and love here – but as I said, maudlin.
So, tomorrow. They’ll arrive and pack. We move to a hotel for a week. Then there will be 22 hours of hell, after which we arrive in our new home. I am the luckiest girl in the world, but if I get to have one more wish come true, it’s that I hope that our new home holds as many happy memories as this one.