So yesterday was the day. The day when I went into daughter number two's bedroom to sort out what stayed and what went now she has officially moved out. You may remember that I said she was just a child of ten when we moved in, so colouring books sat side by side with false eyelashes, and cuddly toys clashed with six inch platform shoes.
It was like watching a whole life walk slowly past me, saying 'Remember this, mum?' I had promised myself I wouldn't cry, because memories are lovely and need to be nurtured, and there was only one thing which caused the tears to break free - more of that later. But let's get back to the treasures I found yesterday.
£2.74 - always a bonus when clearing your children's rooms. No folding stuff unfortunately, but there was some Euro shrapnel and some rather odd Hungarian coins
Three pairs of my tweezers - none of which was in any working order, however much bending I did (where's Uri Geller when you need him?)
Four pairs of nail scissors, and two pairs of my kitchen scissors (I struggled to remember whether she had a crush on Edward Scissorhands, as that might have explained all the scissors)
Enough felt tipped pens to keep a primary school going till 2019
My right flip flop. This resulted in a rather large whoop of joy, but was swiftly replaced by resignation when I remembered that the left one had been in my wardrobe for the last six months, awaiting its partner to turn up. Giving up on any reconciliation on the flip flops last week, I had thrown the left one away.
Two blouses and a pair of jeans which went missing from my wardrobe circa 2013, but at least she had the decency not to take them with her. I also rehoused one of her blouses in my wardrobe.
A teaspoon and a fork, harbouring their own micro-culture. These went straight into the bin as even my OCD cleaning wouldn't have guaranteed that the rest of us would be safe from salmonella poisoning.
Five of those Maths sets which kids always take into school on their last day - none of which were complete. I did start trying to get a couple of complete sets, and then remembered that none of my kids will ever need these again (that nearly started me off).
But it was the letter that I found which sums up my girl. Folded up neatly in its envelope, was a letter from my Nanny Joyce, sent to daughter number two in her first weeks away at university. She was writing to her to say thank you for her letter, and that she hoped she was settling in to her new life. Money had also been sent, as Nanny hoped it would help with her expenses. And that's what finished me off. It reminded me how much I miss my nanny, and also how much I am going to miss my girl now she's gone.
But I suppose that this is a mother's lot in life.
You give birth to them, raise them, listen to the tantrums and wipe away the tears. You bandage knees, and listen to badly played instruments with a smile on your face, and stand in the rain while they play netball. You laugh with them, shout at them and build Lego zoo after Lego zoo, never complaining.
And then they bugger off to their exciting new life, leaving you with seven black bags of rubbish and a right flip flop.
Such is life...