We’ve been so caught up in the rollercoaster of the will it work out…will it fall through of our house move that we only dared to think about actually moving when we finally exchanged last week. Which means the last few days have been pretty hectic. We have a big moving ‘to do’ list, and a even larger amount of stuff that we seem to be taking with us.
It also means that we haven’t really stopped to think that we’re actually going to be leaving our flat very soon. Our lovely, top floor flat with amazing views and “no LIFT? Seriously? How do you manage with a baby?” says everyone when I tell them about it. Stairs aside, neither Alex nor I are very sentimental about things – it’s just four walls, right? But as I’ve realised, if these four walls could talk, they’d tell the story of my daughter’s life. And even for such a small person, that’s an enormous thing.
If these four walls could talk they’d tell of two of us moving in, just married. Then deciding a few months later that we would try and see what would happen, and of the months after when nothing did. They’d speak of the unexpected wonder at the first positive pregnancy test (and second, third, fifth and seventh ones just to be sure). And then they’d whisper about nine months later, of the tiny baby in the white sleepsuit who we carried upstairs against the dark and starry backdrop of a winter’s night. They’d tell the tales of joy and tears that followed, and point at the marks on the doorframe where we’ve measured the growth of time up to nearly two years of her life.
I know this flat like the back of my hand, I’ve spent so long in it. I’ve mapped out the creak of every floorboard, and squeak of every door, the best route to walk silently down the corridor and exactly where to stop and listen for the sound of sleepy breathing while I hold my own breath. I know the sight of the dawn breaking through the shadows of our room, and the sounds of the world outside waking up after long nights for us of absolutely no sleep. And if at times it felt like the walls have been closing in they’ve also cocooned me, and kept us all safe.
We came here as two and leave as three. I can’t wait to read the future that all of us will write together, but I’m sure I’ll feel very nostalgic and ever-so-slightly emotional when we close the door on this chapter and descend for the final time.