We bought 3 ducks and hid two when she was born, so that if she ever lost one we’d always have a spare. Unfortunately one day at the age of about 4, she found the other two and insisted on sleeping with all 3 right up until she started secondary school!
I almost wish, like a scene out of ‘Toy Story’, that they would all come alive and beg her not to leave quite yet!
But I know after 24 years that the time has come, and however much its been highlighted in bright pink highlighter on my kitchen calendar, I’ve managed to ignore it, by busying myself with other distractions.
Ellie has been the model daughter.
People find it hard to believe, but we have hardly ever argued, ever! She’s always been so helpful, so studious, so funny, so outgoing and the best of friends to all who meet her.
I think the reason she’s been so unproblematic, is because she was born the oldest of 4 kids, and so just got used to being my little helper/side kick trying to help me raise her 3 testosterone fuelled brothers from the tender age of 21 months.
Related article: The emptying of the nest once more
I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but she’s not just a daughter, but my best friend and lockdown has given me an extra year of quality time which I would never have had in normal circumstances, and for that I’m grateful; The daily meal preps together. The evening gossip together. The rubbish tv watching together. The weekend dog walks together. I have secretly cherished every last minute knowing full well this day would come.
And so this weekend she moved out with her boyfriend to rent a lovely little flat closer to town and I couldn’t be happier for them both. It's time… well for them at least, but I will miss her more than she can ever know.
Going through all her things, as we sat packing this week, has taken us on a long winding trip down memory lane:
The baby book with photos of my pregnancy scan stuck inside, with dates of when she started to crawl, when she got her first tooth and when she had her first tantrum during her first hair cut.
The nursery school photo of her as a terribly shy little girl who begged me not to leave her each morning.
The primary school certificates –grade 1 violin (she hated violin), star of the week (she got that just for sitting nicely!), the little mermaids swimming badge (omg she used to scream when I tried to put those plastic hats on her hair).
The signed leavers tshirt and ties from both primary and secondary school – the ink marks from all her class mates starting to fade.
The first valentines day card and teddy from her dad
The padlocked secret diary (not so secret as she never had a key to lock it!).
Bags of photos and old birthday cards
Her psychology degree books…. The list goes on.
5 suitcases, 10 packing boxes & 6 carrier bags later and the tears start to flow as the moving van pulls up.
As I hug her goodbye, my heart feels a little bit emptier, but I’m truly happy that she’s happy and after such a horrible year, it feels so good that finally something ‘normal’ is happening and someone’s life is finally moving on ….out.
Related article: My lockdown diaries: A year in the life of a lockdown mum