Its been 2 years exactly since we all moved into this house and into a new adventure. I thought I knew how it would pan out, I thought it would be something which it has not been, I look back today and wonder what it was all about.
This year is made of losses. I knew some were coming and I could feel others brewing but one in particular that I could have foreseen has just snuck up on me. Tall Girl has left the building! Yep, my absolutely beautiful daughter child has upped sticks and moved around the corner into her own place. I should have expected it, she's 22 this year after all, and has been desperate to 'nest' but it seemed, as she didn't go to university, that she'd be with me forever.
She has been my rock in a stormy place so many times of late and I question if this is healthy for her. Yet we seem to get on, I have lived with her longer than anyone else in my life - 22 wonderful years of getting to know her and seeing her grow into this beautiful and independent woman she has now become.
Things are as they should be. We birth them, nurture them and then watch them fly. It is the nature of things. Yet...it is so difficult to watch them go.
She has kept me sane, shown me whats right, helped me enjoy my life. We have lived together, laughed together, enjoyed bottles of wine together - not to mention the cider - we have grown together in adulthood. In any other relationship she would be my soul mate. She has certainly kept me company these last two years.
She moved out the week before my birthday, for weeks before that I had cried a lot of tears that were for the loss of her and even deeper for the loss of my birth father that I had never really mourned. I was in pain. But, in the true sense of motherhood, I did my best to look calm and carry on. This is what I did.
I helped her pack her belongings into boxes, we looked at old photos, toddler drawings and tiny shoes. We packed up china and all the things she's been saving for her 'bottom drawer' as well as all the best cookery books! It was one of the hardest jobs I've ever done.
Yet she's only round the corner - for now- and we've had three nights out in the last week! As I write she's just texted me to say she's coming round for a BBQ! I was thinking of shelving the BBQ!
So nothing much has changed. Not really, I'm telling myself, yet I know she will never really live with me again. She may for a short while but the cord has been broken for the second time and my new house will never really be her real home.
I go up to her empty room and try not to cry. I remember sitting up there with her while the sun set drinking gin, and another time drying her tears after the kitchen was nearly set alight and yet another time watching a film, listening to music, watching her brush her long brown hair, her delight at moving in, her messiness, not knowing what on the floor was actually washing... the list and the memories are endless.
I miss her in the 5 minutes I'd see her before she dashed off to work, I miss her sitting on the sofa or helping me cook or - though we haven't done it much in this house - dancing in the kitchen, that really was our forte!
Its been a hell of a year with far more loss left to come. But with every ending comes a new beginning and, somewhere in the ether, I can see a small glimmer of light...