Thursday, 12 July 2012


Back in July 2004, we moved into our new house.  Abigail was only 6 months old and we had gone from living in the centre of Windsor, a bustling town, to a rural spot in Old Windsor, a sprawling village.  We had bought a house that was 1 in a row of 4 cottages and a week later new people moved into the cottage right next to ours.

They were a young unmarried couple.  He worked for the same company as I and she was a veterinarian.  In those early days we rarely saw them.  They sailed on the weekends and we were busy raising our family.  Once, before they had their own children, he picked up Sebastian and hung him upside down.  Then promptly let him slip from his hands.  Seb dropped to the pavement and landed on his shoulders.  His wife was horrified (so was I) but once we determined that Sebastian was absolutely fine, we found the humour in it and still laugh about it today.  But soon they were married and then the babies began to arrive, all three little girls.

We grew closer to them as they faced the challenges of raising a family and were home on the weekends juggling taking care of children and a garden and a house with all the loads of laundry and meals to prepare and schools to evaluate.  He was babysitting one night for a few hours and upon his arrival, Sebastian announced that having just done a massive poo "I want you to wipe this" pointing at his bum.  The look on his face was hilarious.  Marc and I bee lined it out the door and let him get on with it.  His daughter's have since had their revenge on me.

As the girls got older and Sebastian went off to boarding school, Abigail started spending more and more time around their home.  Those little girls became like sisters.  She was the big sister and they adored her.  She would quite happily lead them in make believe tea parties or play with doll houses.  She read them books and kept them out of their mother's hair.

They taught her how to ride a bike and fed her endless fresh fruit platters.

We have handed down all of Abigail's clothes (even those that were handed down to us).  There is something very satisfying about seeing hand me downs on the girls.  Makes me feel like we are wasting the planet less.  The girls love to think they are wearing Abigail's clothes.  It is like they used to belong to a princess.

She loves these little girls and a deep loving friendship has grown between them.  I hope it will serve as a model of true friendship the rest of their lives.

Today those neighbours are moving.  Their family of 5 has outgrown their tiny 3 bedroom cottage and they've bought a house up the hill.  It isn't far but it is too far to walk, too far to borrow a pint of milk or an egg or a cup of sugar or a bottle of ketchup.  It's too far to pop round for a cup of tea and a slice of cake on a rainy Sunday afternoon.  It's too far to ask for emergency babysitting.

I am so very sad to see them go.  I'm not sure how Abigail  will cope with losing her little sisters.  Last night she told me she was sad but hoped we could go round to visit.  I know it won't be the same.  Deep down, she knows it won't be either.

We are lucky to have had them as neighbours and we wish them lots of love and happy memories in their new home.  We also hope they miss us lots and invite us round for tea and cake on rainy Sunday afternoons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sure you will miss them lots..booooo hooooo wish them well for me okay Mom