Letting go

Sometimes you just have to cross your fingers and hope it works out.

Hard that. For a control freak like myself.

I like to know how things are going to pan out. And, if possible, have them pan out my way.

But lately, life is just going on around me without my hand in it and I’m just having to let it happen.

We’re moving house. Relocating to Falmouth from North Cornwall.

New home, new school for the kids, new coastline, new everything.

It has been going on forever and, despite my daily chasing of solicitors and estate agents, it’s still got a little way to go before contracts are exchanged and we have a moving date.

I wanted to be moved by now. I wanted to have the children settled in their new home. To have them sleeping soundly in their new bedrooms. To have spent some time in the new village. To have become familiar with our new local playground, beach, shop, pub. To feel moved before the start of next term.

But I’m not in control of this. I can’t force either side of the chain to hurry up. I can’t make my solicitor pick up her telephone. Ever. Or answer an email without it having first to be dictated, typed, and in one case – scanned, yes, scanned! – first.

I’m not in control of where and when the kids will start their new school. I’ve filled in the application form but the council are taking forever to get round to looking at it. They won’t answer the telephone either. So I email them weekly and just get despondent sorry-not-yets back.

I’m stuck. Well and truly stuck in the middle.

If I stop to think about everything my stomach churns. I feel my heart beating too quickly and I am overwhelmed.

I wake up in the night worrying about possible future scenarios. My brain trying to grasp onto an outcome – any outcome – to fill the void caused by all this waiting.

Sidney had another night terror last night. He was shouting about not wanting to go. And my guilt interpreted this as his subconscious fear about moving home.

We just need to be there. Stop all the waiting. Have outcomes to work with. Rather than possibles to worry about.

We went camping last weekend, thinking it might be the last weekend we’d have free to go.

The weather forecast was awful. Predicted storms, gale-force winds and heavy rain.

But we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

It started raining as soon as we’d put the tent up. We drove into the nearest village and huddled inside a tea room to escape the rain. The kids were antsy, twirling round and round on swivel bar stools. Not eating their food. Winding each other up.

Chris and I took refuge in doorstop sandwiches with a side of crisps.

But we found Sandymouth Beach that afternoon. And the rain stopped.

We picked our way across a sea of round pebbles to reach a shoreline filled with rock pools. They went shannying.

I took some photographs.

Cliffs at Sandymouth Beach

Shannying at Sandymouth

Then Nell and I wandered back to the cliffs to look at the stones placed there.

These stones haven’t been placed here by the sea, but by people. They have scratched or penned their names, or those of friends, families, and lovers onto the pebbles before placing them up high out of the tide’s reach. The effect is eye catching. The smooth, grey of the stones contrasts beautifully with the rough red of the cliffs.

The stones remind me of the lucchetti d’amore on the Ponte Vecchio – padlocks with lovers’ names inscribed in permanent marker, locked forever onto the railings of Benvenuto Cellini’s monument.

I wanted to leave one for us. Nell tried to scratch her name on a stone but got frustrated. I wrote one for her and she smudged the name off with her damp thumb and threw it aside.

I ended up drawing seashells, fish, love hearts and other symbols on them instead. Hiding them for her to find.

We had a mellow evening round the campfire, spotting bats from a hammock, and fairies in the woods.

At around 3am the weather came and battered our tent. Thunder and lightning, torrential rain, strong winds.

Chris and I lay there, eyes wide open, listening and waiting for sleep to come back. It didn’t. The kids slept through oblivious.

Then we packed up the next morning and came home.

Yes, it was a huge faff for an afternoon and evening camping.

But sometimes you’ve just got to cross your fingers and hope it works out.



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