I remember the day we brought you home, so perfect and unspoiled. You had that brand new smell and parts of you gleamed when they caught the light. We handled you with care and dressed you up in your smooth black covers. You were ours and we would take care of you.
Of course it was not long since I was bouncing you down staircases and jamming you into doors to hold them open. But I knew you could take it. Just like you took care of us.
You were always there for me when I needed you. A place to lay my child when she was getting too heavy or needed a rest. To help me hurry to places, instead of dawdling with a toddler who tripped every other step and wanted to gaze at the cracks in the pavement.
When she needed a place to rest, you held her. When I was laden with heavy shopping, you carried it. When it rained, you gave shelter. I always used to joke I wished that big plastic see-through cover had a hood for me at the back. So I could be enclosed in your lovely snuggly bubble as we bustled through cold.
And it wasn’t just her that you carried. It was me. I leant on you for support when I was exhausted, clasping a cup of coffee in one hand after a difficult night of little sleep. Or gripping your handles tightly as I entered a big intimidating playgroup knowing no one to talk to.
We were in it together you and me. Negotiating public transport with no ramps or lifts. Or grumpy, inconsiderate commuters who complained we got in their way. Or just that walk we so often made, struggling up the hill with a bag of nappies swinging from your handlebars and bottles of wine clink-clinking in your undercarriage. Racing home to get in the warm or rush to the loo.
Of course I took you for granted after all those years. Sorry for all the times I hung too many heavy bags on your back and when she leapt out you fell over. Sorry for all the coffee I spilt on your hood, the bottles that leaked on you and the times during potty training when she just had to go right there and then.
I miss you sometimes when I am going about my day with a bag on my shoulder. That little pocket in your hood where I could just reach in and grab a snack or sunglasses or my keys. It was the perfect place.
But now you just sit in the shed, folded up, cold and alone. And I wish there was a better place to send you. The Buggy Graveyard. Is there such place? Where the noble strollers of the world go to rest in peace?
You still fold up right and your hood works fine. Your wheels are worn bare but your brake still works, if you know the knack to kicking it down just so. A shoelace takes the place of your footrest now. And the rubber from your handles, which once held the imprints of my hands, has long gone too. There are so many stains and scars to show your full life lived.
In your bottom I found some sand. It’s so long since you last went to the beach, but you have travelled the world as part of the family. You’ve crossed continents and climbed mountains.
I could still take you to the shops I suppose, fill you up with flour babies and dangle packages from you handles again. Lean on you on the long walk home, and chat to you for company. ‘Oh look – a kitty cat. Miaow.’ I could be that mad old woman everyone knows from the high street with the pram that doesn’t have a baby in it.
But I think it’s time to let you go. You’ve served your time, seen the world, done it all.
So long now pushchair. She doesn’t need you anymore, and I don’t think she remembers. I do. I won’t forget. Thank you.
What would you say to your pushchair?