Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Divorcing my Children

My husband is away this week. He is in India visiting a quite remarkable school nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas.

There is part of me that hates him being away. I want him home with me. I want him in my bed at night. I want him bringing me my cup of tea in the morning. And yet there is part of me that doesn't mind at all because it is the passion he has for doing things outisde of what most would consider the norm that makes him the man he is - the man I love.

It is this passion that has shaken our lives up so drastically recently. He is starting a new job and we are moving from the home we have lived in happily for the last ten years. Ten years of stability and suddenly we are starting over in a new place with new opportunities and new challenges.

Without a doubt, the one thing I will miss above all else from this part of my life is having my two eldest daughters around. They both have homes a short walk from mine and I spend a lot of time with them - running, swimming, shopping or having them just drop by for a chat or inviting themselves to dinner! They help me out in all sorts of ways and I love their company. I know that the relationships will adapt and evolve to suit the new situation but I will definitely miss the 'availability' of them.

Despite living independent lives, both daughters still have possessions in the family home. Of my other two grown up daughters, one is about to finish University and one is about to start. They both have a significant amount of their belongings stored here too. As we will be moving to an area of high property value, we will inevitably be downsizing. This has made it necessary for my girls to claim and take responsibility for as much of their own stuff as possible.

We joked that it was like a divorce as we sorted through the DVD and CD collection working out what belonged to who. Divorcing my children actually turned out to be a lot of fun and quite therapeutic. We  amicably divided and also sorted out a mighty pile that my eldest, Liberty, was able to sell with Music Magpie. I was absolutely delighted when she bought me a present out of some of the proceeds to thank me for the sacrifices I made from my part of the collection.

My present was Volume 1 of a wonderfully dark, interconnected collection of short stories in the graphic novel style by writer Neil Gibson. I have never fully embraced the comic book culture but this particular book entitled Twisted Dark is incredible. It explores the worst aspects of human nature in a punchy, hard hitting yet digestible way. Beautifully drawn, clever narrative, edgy... I just love it. I don't imagine it will convert me to a lover of all things 'comic book' but I am definitely wanting more Twisted Dark!

Another sizeable collection that needed to be dealt with was Liberty's Warhammer fantasy miniatures - paints, craft tools, miniature figures, scenery, the entire Lord of the Rings partwork with most of the figures still wrapped in the cellophane. Back in her teens, she had spent many a happy hour painting the figures - and she was good at it.  A steady hand, meticulous attention to detail and the odd tutorial at the nearest Warhammer Games Workshop and she was achieving a very high standard - a standard recognised when she won a ffty pound gift voucher in a painting competition. The money was immediately ploughed back into the hobby which ground to a halt about the time she got her first serious boyfriend! The collection has been in my loft gathering dust for years and it was time to put it back into her hands. The lovely thing is, her interest has been rekindled. She has no desire to play Warhammer or even to keep the figures once they are painted. The joy is in the doing. She has started painting them then putting them on ebay to sell. She is doing well. She's never going to make her millions this way but she has the pleasure of painting, the slight thrill of seeing how high the bids go and most importantly... they are no longer in my loft.

My house decluttering continues as I wait for my husband to return from his adventures in India. I am almost at the point where I want to empty each room as though we were moving out and then (after a clean and freshen) put back ONLY what we want in our new life. That way, there will be no surprises when we move out for real.


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