August 2020 and the time has finally come to empty out our bedroom, so that whilst we are away walls can be knocked down and the next phase of the build can begin.
I look around, heartbroken. This room, this space, holds so many memories. Memories where we moved in with three children and brought home a fourth. The fourth beautiful baby, the one that didn’t put weight on. The one where the midwives constantly made me feel anxious and told me if I didn’t succeed in getting him to gain weight (I was a committed breast feeding mama) he might experience a delay in his development. The room where I expressed round the clock to make sure I didn’t let anyone down. The room where I went back nine years to that first time mother, and doubted everything that I did.
But also the room where he did gain weight and he did flourish (he is now the tallest proportionally out of all four children) and where I cuddled and sang to him night after night. The room where all four children bombed on to our bed at weekends and especially at Christmas.
It is the room where I lay awake and worried, as thoughts of things that remain unspeakable went whirring round and round and round in my fretful head. It is room where my heart slowly began to heal and I began to breathe again.
It is a room it turns out that is full of memories, both in my head and in the boxes of beautiful cards and loving words, and funny phrases the children have come up with that I have recorded and saved on scraps of paper, that all piece together a story of my little family.
What I didn’t expect as well though, was the huge wave of emotion initiated when my biggest boy received his A’level results, and I then began to unpack the memories that he had provided over those 18 ½ years. The little star of the week certificates from reception upwards, the beautiful Mother’s Day cards, the loving words he had written randomly and left for me on my pillow, the letters to Father (Farmer) Christmas, the precious cashmere hat, the Babygro and hand knitted cardigan, bought for him and worn by the other three children when they were born, and the innocence of those beautiful years. I have never really wanted any of my children to grow up, yet now that the eldest two are 15 and 19, the joy they bring me is the best. It is so different to those formative years and I love it, but you cannot escape the longing of the innocence of those tender years, as they devote their very souls to you.
And so, as the unpacking, repacking, emptying out and moving on surged forwards, the wall of emotion hit me like a truck. I didn’t see it coming and it knocked me sideways. But here’s the thing. He knew. My biggest boy knew. So in tune with my emotions and so empathetic a man that he has become, he knew. ‘Write it down Mum, it’s really important. You have a lot to say and it’s really important. Put it in your blog’. So I am, finally. Five months on and I’m getting my act together.
The room that held those memories is presently uninhabitable, but it has new windows and my youngest little fella will be going in there. Its going to have a den with a ladder up to it and it’s going to be re-invented as the cosiest, coolest bedroom ever. So, life throws you some curve balls sometimes, and sometimes you just have to face it head on and move forward.
Thank you for reading. Big love.