We moved house at the end of June, it was so busy with end of school and going on holidays and packing twelve years of living in a house and ten years of child accrued items that had gone into the attic out of the way that I decided to just get on with the move and not talk about it on social media. Some people noticed, especially on instagram stories and they asked questions so I confirmed that yes, we moved. Unannounced, under the radar sort of and under pressure definitely.
We are now well settled into our new home, but it was stressful getting here. House moves, no matter how well planned they are have a huge amount of uncertainty – would our bid be accepted, would the vendor change their minds, how would the kids take it, would the money land on the right day (HINT if you are ever considering buying a house, it very rarely if ever does, there’s always something tiny to mess that element up), would we get everything packed up on time, would we like the new house, would the painter get finished on time, would it ever finally become real?
It did. We are in over three months now, moving the hottest week of the year, and the days before we went on the holiday that we had booked the previous December, because you know, we like to keep ourselves busy (ahhh). We haven’t moved far, just a couple of kilometres out the road, to the countryside from an estate, with a bigger garden, a bedroom for everyone and an island unit in the kitchen (I’ve wanted an island unit for a long time).
We left it pretty late in the day to tell the kids as we wanted to be very sure that it would happen and be prepared for their gazillion questions before they started investing themselves in a move or a new house. Initial reactions from the young Bumbles were, well let’s say dramatic.
There were tears, and straight refusals to move, and declarations about not liking change, but after a couple of days we won them all over (one was delighted from the outset at the prospect of escaping his bunk beds) with talks of a bigger garden, promises of birthday parties at home (that would later come back to haunt me), vows to make the new bedroom almost exactly the same as the old one, the reiteration that our GAA club and school would not be changing (in that order) and a playroom. They were on board.
Labelled in code. Helpful
They started filling boxes and writing “My Stuff” on them with Sharpies. They played a blinder. They carried boxes and took turns riding up front in the hired van (in car seats as appropriate!). They set up their own bedrooms and ably tried their hands at assembling flat pack furniture. They rocked moving.
Settling in has happened more easily than we could have imagined. We did some minor decorative work, a serious amount of wiping down and cleaning and bought a few double beds and a new couch for the grown-up sitting room and it suddenly felt like home. Wherever you sit on your couch, or eat your cornflakes, that’s home, regardless of being surrounded by boxes.
We do miss our lovely neighbours but still see them on GAA sidelines, and with the busy-ness of all our lives with jobs and kids the last few years that’s where we saw the most of each other anyway.
We’re still getting to know some parts of our new house, like which light switch turns on which outside light (I really don’t think I will ever learn this), what that noise is (Fridge? Heating? Boiler? Alien invaders?) and which part of the ditch grows the best blackberries. Laoise has learned to ride her bike with no stabilisers on the tarmac outside and the boys have hurled for hours, and only broken one window yet.
We have so many good memories of the house we brought our three newborns home to, where we celebrated so many birthdays and Christmases, where we took our first day of school photos and spent our snow days and we have brought them all with us to our new house. We haven’t mourned moving but have embraced it, and talked about the memories coming with us and only the walls staying behind. We’ve vowed to make a special photo album of special memories from our old house, but until the boxes that are in the attic and garage are fully unpacked that’s on hold.
We’ve moved house, but wherever we are together we’re home.