Today we put our house on the market.
The house that has been our first family home.
The house we have spent 5 chaotic, happy, laughter-filled, anxiety ridden years.
I still have the details of the house from when we bought it. I maintain that I knew it was ‘the one’ before we’d even seen inside it. We couldn’t afford it of course, this is London, so I just kept going back and looking at it online. Then one day it had been reduced in price and I finally persuaded my husband it was worth a look.
I can laugh now at the nightmare that was moving day. Having daydreamed for years about moving into our first grown-up home and carefully planned how we would spend the first precious days, the reality was somewhat different. We were staying with friends for a couple of nights between moving out of our rented flat and collecting our keys. In the early hours of move-in day the cough which had been troubling the then 9 month old Mojo started to affect her breathing, by 1am she was breathless, wheezing and lethargic. We rushed her into A&E where we spent the next eight days while she recovered from a serious and brutal chest infection. Daddy had to drag his sleep deprived self from the hospital to meet the removal van all by himself. The seriousness of Mojo’s condition that week was such that, despite months of waiting, I didn’t even think about new house for a week while our whole world revolved around that hospital room.
The first time I walked into our home as it’s owner was on a quick shower and change break from the hospital. I vividly remember sitting on the brand new, still in it’s plastic sofa feeling fleetingly sad that my romanticised plans were in ruins.
Of course as is the way with all things Mojo, once we were able to go home it was a glorious heart-bursting moment. We carried her over the threshold and there were some fairly significant relief tears. She had her own room, a proper cot (having slept in a rocking crib by my bed for nine months!) it was home.
This home has been the site of so many of Mojo’s most spectacular achievements and milestones. The portage sessions where we watched in amazement as she proved herself to be not only astonishingly determined but also clever and adaptable. Her first supported standing in gaiters. Her first rolling over. Her first words. Her first day of school photo was taken in this garden. Every birthday tea, every Christmas tree decorating, every painting on the fridge, every experience has been rooted in this house.
It’s the house we brought Mojo’s little sister home to. The house they learned to love each other in. The house we learned to be a family in.
Despite all of this, this house has, over the last year become something else. It has become inaccessible. It’s the house where the corridors are just every so slightly too narrow for the wheelchair, the house where carrying Mojo up and down to bed is now officially ‘unsafe’. It’s the house where parking outside our front door is hit and miss and sometimes involves carrying her, and armfuls of equipment, across the road while shouting ‘STAY INSIDE’ to her little sister! It’s the house with a bathroom just slightly too small for a hoist. The house without a downstairs toilet limiting our ability to potty train consistently.
It has been a home completely filled with warmth and love and safety from the noise of the outside world but now it’s time for us to look for our accessible forever home. So it is that the Sun Will Come Up is heading North.
The prospect of changing our entire support team from medical consultants to education settings to friendship networks is completely terrifying and one which I intend to document.
For now though we need to focus on keeping this house tidy enough to be view-able. Which right now feels like an endless cycle of hiding things in cupboards only to forget where they were hidden. I found a whole washing load in an upstairs cupboard yesterday! I think it may be a long few months. Wish us luck!