Strictly speaking I am not saying goodbye to my children...they only live five minutes drive away and I see them at least a couple of times a week. Andrew drops in when he cannot afford to buy food, and Ellen comes round when she is in the mood to be fussed and spoiled by mum. What I have had to do is say goodbye to their childhood and come to terms with the fact they are adults now. And this has been a rather sad process.
Ellen and Andrew moved out six months ago. They packed up their childhood things into boxes - Ellen's stuff went up in the loft and I threw out most of Andrew's rubbish ...need I say more! The one thing they agreed was that we could not get rid of the family trampoline.
The family trampoline
We bought the trampoline when we first moved to New Zealand 13 years ago. It made us feel like we were real Kiwis, joining the many Kiwi families who have trampolines in their gardens.
It cost us nearly $1000 and was a really sturdy trampoline. It is very difficult to get ones like it these days, cos the ones on sale now are namby pamby ones with nets, landing pads and emergency helicopters on call to fly you to the dentist the minute you fall over and knock your teeth out.
The kids spent many happy hours on the trampoline. One of their favorite things was to pour water over it and see how long it took before someone slipped up, fell, and broke their neck. Latterly, it became the place where they did their courting. They sat up on the trampoline with the new girlfriend/boyfriend, where I could still keep an eye on "things", as I peered out from behind the curtains in the living room.
Time to go
But it was very large and took up most of our very small garden. And now the kids have left home, they do not play with it any more. We have no where to store it, and please God, it will be some time before there are grand children to play with it. So after much debate and arguing, I took things upon myself and advertised to give it away on the Dunedin Freecycle email list. And needless to say, someone came and picked it up within a couple of hours of advertising.
Now the trampoline has gone I am feeling rather sad because time is marching on so fast. I mourn the passing of those days when the kids were little. At the same time I am filled with pride and excitement as I watch them grow into beautiful and loving adults. As a family we have moved into the next stage of our lives - I can't wait to see what that brings us.
And in the meantime, we have our lawn back which means we have some serious lawn mowing to do!