I've long been of the mind that right before you give something up -- a car...a neighborhood...definitely a relationship -- you allow yourself to be annoyed by that thing.
It's not that the thing itself has changed in any fundamental way. It's just that whereas you once focused on the upsides (he's cute...he's funny...my mother likes him), you now allow the negatives to creep in (I hate that shirt...please stop chewing like that...kissing you is so boring.) It's just normal. It's how we begin to separate before we say goodbye.
In that vein, as I pack up the last bits and bobs around our current house before leaving it permanently on Thursday, I find myself doing precisely that: allowing myself to hate all the things about this house that I've managed to put up with over the past four years.
Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to like about this house, which I've often described as an exceedingly well-located closet. I wrote a novel here. I started my blog here. And - most important of all - it's the place that we first moved into when we decided to throw caution to the wind and move our family overseas four years ago. For that reason alone, it will always be special.
And yet, as we stagger towards the finish line, I'm allowing all the negative things I've suppressed about the house to come to the fore.
I'm not much of a poet. I usually leave that to the fabulous Communicatrix and her Poetry Thursday series. But as I take my last walk around this house and pick up the errant sock or felt tip (magic marker) cap or MatchAttax card that mysteriously appears -- years later -- in the obscure corners of our storage space, I find myself moved to wax poetic.
So here it is -- my Ode to a Mews House -- inspired by that childhood classic, Good Night, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. I'm calling it Goodnight, Mews:
In the tiny, cobble-stoned street
without a sign
there was a house
and for four years, it was mine.
And though I'll be sad to see it gone
Here are some things for which I won't long:
Goodnight kitchen tiles, that never quite fit
and were meant for the wall - not the floor - but tough sh*#.
Good night shower curtain, which hangs by a thread
And the sweaters I was forced to keep under my bed.
Good night builders, who knew nothing of plumbing
and Good night, next-door neighbors who hated my son.
Good night, storage closet that eventually hits earth
and was home to the rats who made our house their berth.
Good night, Toilet Seat from which I would fall
And the miniature fridge that stands two feet tall.
Good night shower that always floods when it rains
And goodnight darling landlord, you were really a pain.
Goodnight stars, Goodnight air
Good night Mewses everywhere.