So we arrived at the new house, all freshly painted: a blank canvas for us to make it into a home. We had first seen it ten months previously, and a couple of times since then. But the more we thought about it the smaller it got until we were getting worried about how we were going to fit in all our stuff. When we got inside we were slightly relieved that it was bigger than we remembered it, and certainly bigger than the house we were leaving.
Then the removers arrived and started bringing in box after box after box after box after box. Standing in the kitchen at one point I ask one of the movers whether they’d actually brought us someone else’s stuff as well. To which he replied “everyone thinks that”.
So then the task began, getting the house in a liveable condition before we went to meet Fritz, Frieda and the boys from the airport in just two days time. The task seemed completely daunting, especially as we found out we would have to collect and assemble shelving that should have been in place before we moved in, to the point that is seemed impossible to do in time. It was not just the fact that we wanted to be able to live there within two days, but we wanted the boys to feel comfortable in it as much as possible straight away. We wanted to see the look on their faces when they saw their new play room and their new bedroom (and in Sam’s case a bed rather than a cot).
With this as our main motivation we went from seeing it as an impossible job to being on an absolute mission to get it done. I got up at 4am to open boxes and get stuff on shelves. Karen went off to get the furniture and with the help of friends (you know who you are, thank you) got it put up. Karen got the boys playroom looking fabulous within a very short time and working right until the last minute (we were only ten minutes late at the airport) we managed to get the house into a state that we were happy with.
But now the big test came. What would the boys think? How would they react coming back to seeing all their things in a new house? How would they cope with change?
As it turned out it was a bit of an anti-climax. Jake was so tired from the flight that he fell asleep in the car and was transferred to bed without ever waking up. Sam woke up but was so dozy that he hardly ever noticed at first.
As we showed Fritz and Freida round though, I realised how proud I was, and what a sense of achievement I had that we had achieved so much in such a short period of time.
In the end Sam was so excited about his new playroom that he couldn’t be persuaded to go to bed until 10pm, and the next morning we got that look of wonder from Jake as he first set foot in his new playroom, it was that look he gets when he comes downstairs on Christmas morning.
All in all then it was quite a few days, and I’m not sure I want to unpack another box again in a hurry. But to get the boys reactions in that way it was worth it.