My husband moved out tonight.
It's day one of the New Normal, a sort of half-life that we flail in whilst we tie up the ends in Manchester and make a move down the M6 to the Midlands. A house that wont sell and one, soon to be two, children needing childcare means we're not able to just pick up and leave here, but nor will my husband's new job wait, so for now he goes and we stay.
The goodbye was perfunctory, after all he'll be back on Friday. I'm not unused to him staying away overnight, I can watch what I want on the telly and not have to worry about cooking a veggie option at dinnertime, but tonight with the house quiet it just feels different.
This is the start of a big change. We've known it was coming but now, with a weeks worth of suits packed and on their way to his home for the next week, it's really happening. Soon it will be our turn to go, and we wont be coming back at the weekend.
My children deserve an energetic father, one who isn't constantly exhausted from long and antisocial shifts and can enjoy his time off rather than existing in a constant state of jet-lag. I am looking forward to meeting my new husband, a man who can stay up past 10 pm and doesn't need a daytime nap. I know we will be happy in our new life, in the village we have chosen for its schools, parks and commutability. It's not even too far to come back and visit. The positives are stacked in the corner in a great big pile.
But tonight my heart breaks a little at the thought we will never again live as a family of four in this, the house we were married in, to where we brought home our tiny firstborn, where our daughter was conceived and born where we became the family that now stands on the edge of a change that's exciting and terrifying in equal measure.