Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saying "good-bye" to my children

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.

Leaving home
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.

Happy times
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.

Feeling sad
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!


Thinkbirth said...

Oh Sarah, this post is so sweet! Saying goodbye to your children's childhood is a challenge. You will love the extra room in your yard when you get used to the idea. Your kids will find it challenging too. There is always the temptation to revert to childhood and having things 'the same' can give us a false sense of security that it is possible to do so.

Have a great Christmas and New Year. :-)

Mike Bogle said...

Reflections like this remind me of how important it is that I cherish the times I spend with my young ones - who are growing up faster than I can imagine. Thanks so much for sharing the thoughts. It's an important reminder of how brief their childhood's really are, and how irreplaceable and invaluable the memories become.

Jack said...

Ohh Sarah !

Your post is so sweet! It reminds me my childhood memories and also remind me my mischief things sometimes which put my parents in some troubles.

Thanks for sharing this nice post and remind me my sweet memories

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Sarah Stewart said...

Thank you, everyone for your comments. The kids are both back tonight for a few days, so looking forward to fun and games :) Have a fabulous Christmas everyone!

InfoMidwife said...

Sarah,,, I can totally relate to this is a new phase in life... hope you have a great festive season....

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks infomidwife, we had a a great day. Sadly, everyone went back to work on Boxing Day but Xmas Day was fun and...fabulous weather.

How was your Christmas?