At the weekend my eldest almost moved out. I say almost, as it was mainly her furniture and belonging that we packed into a van and delivered to the apartment for her.
The apartment, although almost finished, still lacks a kitchen and a shower cabin.
Kitchens are funny things here in Germany. A lot of rental properties come without them, and it is up to the tenant to put one in, and then when the tenant moves out, either the next person has to buy the kitchen from them or they have to rip it out. I guess this is why, even though we bought this apartment, and it was renovated through, a budget for a kitchen was not included by the seller.
so the lack of certain items means that my daughter will not really move in until later this month. Until then she is camping out in our attic – along with the pine martin we suspect is up there as well.
It is very different from when I left home all those years ago. I had just turned 18, had my first job earning 100 pounds a month, and left home without telling my Mum, using a friend to help me shift my stuff when they were out. My dad was in the know, although maybe more about the wish than when the act would be.
it was easier for us both as we knew my Mum would make a scene if I said I wanted to move out. My mother and I did not have a good relationship, which meant there were many rows and episodes where she would fly off the handle, my dad would drive off to escape, and then afterwards she would not speak to me for days.
So my first place was sharing a furnished house with an Irish girl in Lincoln. We each paid 8 pounds a week, and had to put 50p in the meter when we wanted electricity. My housemate was a bit crazy, but still, it was better than being at home. Mum found it very hard to forgive me, which with hindsight is understandable I guess. She plagued me with phone calls at work every day. Thank goodness we had no internet back then for who knows what she would have done with that.
But that was then, and this is now. And I have a much better relationship with my girls thank goodness. I love my girls, but also know when it is time for them to move out and on, and the time arrived for my eldest ages ago actually, but it has taken a while for us to get to this stage. Rents are a lot more money these days too, even with higher salaries, so it is not easy for young people to get that independence.
Plus of course she is not working, but studying.
I am not convinced that moving out and financing it via a student loan is the answer, even though that is what so many people do. However I also know that not many people are as fortunate as our daughter to have their parents buy an apartment for them. For me though, I guess buying the apartment eases the letting her go. I know where she is, I know the landlady and landlord, I know the conditions, and it is cheaper for all than paying rent to somebody else.
So when she finally does move herself over to the apartment, I will get in her old room, now pretty much devoid of furniture, and give it a fresh coat of paint and turn it into a guest room. Or maybe, just maybe, we will move out ourselves and find something a little smaller and a lot cheaper for the next stage of our lives too. Watch this space.