Goodbye, old house

About a week ago, I returned to our old house for the inspection and to hand over our keys. Yes, I know we moved house like forever ago (four weeks, actually) but we had a bizarrely long crossover period due to the delight that was our mortgage granting process. Anyhoo.

In a way it was good because it took us about three days to clean the joint but it was annoying for two obvious reasons. One, we had to hope the spiders didn’t take over in the three weeks that we were out of there (I went back with a broom before the inspection for this reason).

Two, it was difficult to emotionally transition to fully embracing the new house as our new home with the other one hanging about in our subconscious like an ex you can’t let go. I say “our”. Obviously, I was only the only one finding this a problem. Laurence has been in full project mode since we got here. Talitha seems to accept that wherever the cats are, that’s where our home is.

So it was fitting that I went back to the old house on my own. With my camera. Taking pictures from across the street like a crazy person. Getting a bit tearful looking at that cramped bathroom and running my fingers over familiar bumps in the walls.

I’m happy to have moved. So happy. We love our new place though it doesn’t feel completely settled just yet. Yet there were stories in that old house. They deserved a send off. So I gave it to them. I walked from room to room, remembering and whispering good-bye. And now that I’ve put that in black and white, even I’m rolling my eyes at myself. But yes, I do this sort of thing.

This was the diningroom where we inflated and filled the birth pool I’d planned to have Talitha in. The diningroom where she did her first paintings. These are the stairs we took her up when we brought her home from the hospital. The stairs she fell down at four months, when I slipped and sent her flying. The stairs she learned to climb up and down because we never did get around to getting that second stair gate.

This is the bedroom where we spent most of the first weeks, once I’d learned how to breastfeed lying down. This is the window the rocking chair sat next to. This is the livingroom where she learned to crawl, learned to walk, said her first word. It’s where she first kissed me.

This is the garden where she first explored the snow and where she learned to water the plants. This is the kitchen where she sat on my back watching me cook dinner, where we first made cookies together, where she spent hours washing her hands. This is the freezer that held my placenta for over a year.

Then, too quickly, I handed the letting agency rep our keys and it was gone, that house of memories. The bittersweet taste seeped out of me on the journey home. By the time I’d opened our new front door, I could identify what had replaced it – relief.

mother • freelance writer • home educator • #revillagingpodcast • breastfeeding counsellor • no dig farm • Trini in Cornwall [she/her]

Join the discussion

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I know EXACTLY how you feel, because I’m going through it myself at the moment. My husband thinks it’s hilarious, as I get emotional over saying goodbye to a pile of bricks, but it’s the pile of bricks I walked down the stairs in my wedding dress in, the pile of bricks I brought my baby home to… happy new house by the way. Here’s to many more stories to come!
    Molly recently posted..Painted nails and parental judgments

  • It’s an odd feeling isn’t it? I got quite emotional leaving ours for similar reasons. It was where we became a family. But as soon as the kids and Alex had gone leaving me to clean it didn’t feel like ours any more. It was back to being just bricks again.
    Now I can hardly remember living there 🙂
    The Fool recently posted..Review; JBL Soundfly

  • haha I wonder how the new tenants would feel about their ice cream spot once being inhabited by a tasty placenta.

    I felt much the reverse, I associate my old flat with so many bad memories- two bouts of first trimester awfulness, PND, loneliness etc, was so happy to leave that place behind when we finally drove away. I could never even live in the area again, walking aimlessly up and down those backstreets passing time has tinged the place with misery and anger.

    • You have plenty reason to be happy for a fresh start or a few. No one would want to live there again after going through all of that. I recommend a fresh start in Bristol. 😉