It’s 9pm and I’ve been sat in bed staring at a blank wall for … 6 minutes now. It’s my last night in my house and I feel a little lost as I go over the events of today. The TVs are now disconnected, the furniture is gone, my bags packed (well, almost.) Dexter and I have just watched The Lion, Witch & The Wardrobe on Netflix (an ironic choice of film as you’ll read later), cuddled up in bed – I don’t want him to get any sign from me that I’m anything but 100% positive about this move. It’s amazing how much he picks up on my mood … that’s the thing when it’s just the two of you, something I’m quite careful about. He’s gone to bed happy, no tears. I’ve reassured him that tomorrow there’ll still be his PS3, still be football, still be me. He seems content.
Me? I’m not so sure. A lot of my odd mood is because of sheer exhaustion, I know that, but I’m on the cusp of a big change in my life, I can feel it – not just leaving this house, that only feels like the beginning, but big BIG things. Which is fantastic! I just have no idea what they are! But I do know that if I don’t take risks, even if it is just moving to another town at this stage, I’ll never know.
I had a great chat this morning with a school friend who, weirdly enough, is going through lots of similar things to me – redundancy/new house/new town/single parenting, and one thing we both agreed on was this enormous pressure we feel to do ‘the right thing’ because our children are depending on us. That’s a lot of pressure but actually, I think I like it. Going through the process of selling this house and finding another (albeit temporary) home has only served to reinforce my core beliefs – that no matter how much I doubt myself and think I can’t do something, invariably I manage. In fact, I do more than ‘manage’ … I thrive. Guess I just work well under pressure.
“I’m going to hug every room tomorrow morning before I go to school,” Dexter told me tonight and I think I’ll humour him and let him do whatever he needs to do to say goodbye. It’s unsaid, but we both know that we’re not just saying goodbye to a house, we’re saying goodbye to a life we thought we’d have – that of a family of four. This house holds memories of his Dad and I think that’s what a lot of his sadness is about. He’s very conscious not to talk about his Dad around me and whenever he does, always apologises for it afterwards. Of course, I reassure him and tell him he doesn’t have to do that and it’s OK to talk about his Dad. He doesn’t want to hurt me, he says.
My man with a van is coming first thing tomorrow to begin the process of taking the last few items out of the house – to storage, and to my Dads where home will be for the next two weeks. I’m lucky enough that a friend offered to lend some morale support for tomorrow and I’ve got a bottle of Kir Royale at the ready (although he’s driving so I may well end up drinking it all – shame.)
Besides, tomorrow can’t be any worse than the hell I went through today. Picture the scene, my man with the van was dismantling my wardrobe to try and get it down the stairs … I was pottering, packing nail varnishes and wet wiping window sills … and then out of the corner of my eye I spotted my van man holding a red sparkly shoe he found in the bottom of the wardrobe. And what’s that? Oh, a pair of ‘special’ high heels that I only ever wore in the bedroom … oh no, no, no … hang on, what’s that he’s holding, please no …. (panic set in) – I had a faint recollection of something else being in the bottom of that wardrobe years ago. Oh sweet Jesus … it was like the next 5 seconds were in slow motion as my van man handed over 2 ‘personal’ items that had been kept in the wardrobe to avoid prying eyes. Two VERY personal items, if you catch my drift.
Oh. My. God. Mortified.
I styled it out as best as anyone could in that situation. He tried to be nonchalant as best as he could! We were both incredibly embarrassed. “Oh we’re both grown ups Kate,” he said as I shoved said items in a black bin liner. I laughed, “Erm, yeah, course … I didn’t even remember them being there, ha ha ha.” You get the gist. Lots of nervous laughter and a swift change of subject.
So I may not have found Narnia in my wardrobe … but I think that if I can get through THAT today, tomorrow will be a breeze.