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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Goodbye, Peter Rabbit

Saying "Goodbye, Nursery"
When I was pregnant with my firstborn, my mister and I painted what would become the nursery. I clearly remember saying to him "It is going to be so weird having another person in the house with us."  This makes me chuckle because we then had four babies in five years. I was in a lactating coma for six years. We were a 2-crib family for 4 years. We have not been alone in our house since 1999.
Sleep was not my friend during pregnancies. Every time that I would battle the sleep monsters, I would just get up and get busy. My mister would often wake up to find entire rooms rearranged or a tree painted on the nursery wall or seven blackberry pies baked. 
( In month nine, I ate an entire blackberry pie in a 24 hour period...sexy and I know it!) 

This room was the nursery to all of our babies. It is directly across from our master bedroom so it was an easy 2am stumble...and 3am...and 4am...

 I added a moon during my second pregnancy...

Our two boys were followed by two girls...a tea party corner was soon added...
This summer, we are having a big ole bedroom switch-a-roo. Our boys are taking over the nursery and our girls are doing "big girl bedroom" makeovers. 
It is an exciting time for them and I love hearing them play poker for negotiate for furniture - "I'll see you that dresser and raise you for the black side table."
I am looking forward to sharing their bedroom makeovers with you. 
Really.I.Am...Really.
But, right now I am sentimental. I can't believe how quickly the "nursery" stage went. It has been a blink.
I can't believe that we don't have a baby in the house. Not even a toddler. 
The day before my firstborn turned 13...we painted over the nursery. Yup, Painted over the tree...the picket fence...the moon...the butterfly...and Peter Rabbit.
When I say "we painted over the nursery" I really mean "my gal pal painted over the nursery!"
She knew that I didn't have it in me. She showed up, made me a drink and told me to look away. 
 Goodbye, Tree.
When you choose your friends, choose wisely. 
Choose friends who will paint over your nursery. 
Choose friends who will know that gin is needed.
Choose friends who will do it quickly...like when you take a band-aid off your kiddo lickity-split. Just do it before a second thought creeps in.
Choose friends who will make you laugh about the tacky glow in the dark stars on the nursery ceiling.
Once the room was painted and I started to put the room back together, I realized that I had to also say "goodbye" to many of the nursery accessories. 
It didn't feel like I was saying "goodbye" to accessories. I realized it was "goodbye" to chubby cheeks, the smell of baby breath and baby lotion, the sound of toddler belly laughs, and "goodbye" to "OMGITHINKIAMPREGNANTAGAIN!" 
No matter how I begged, my 13 year old did not want a Peter Rabbit dish in his new teenager-y room. Nor, does he want me to blow raspberries on his belly anymore.


This is the boy that went through 4 copies of Goodnight Moon. "Again! Again!" he would squeal. 
I thought of this as I said "goodbye, nursery" again and again.


As my husband says, "Parenting is not for wussies."

*Oldie but goodie rerun. The kiddos are back in school which means I am organizing (code for: throwing out their junk with wild abandon!) their rooms. 

82 comments:

  1. You know, I never thought that I would come here and get all sappy and sentimental reading a post. But oh yes. I got tears in my eyes for you (for real). When we move in October and say goodbye to our nurseries, I don't know how I will be able to do it. Can you come down here and drive away with me?

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    1. Have gin, will travel.
      I haven't been able to post anything while we were working on this. I was all out of funny so I thought I would purge first and return to funny next week.
      I published this 20 minutes ago, and I have already edited it 3 times. So not my comfort zone!
      Thank you, FritterRitterPitter

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  2. I remember when Sam was just a little guy watching our "men" play softball/basketball. I had to bribe him with candy to hang out with me! I trained him well enough that he would just come right up to me and ask what kind of candy I brought for him!

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    1. I KNOW! I overheard some baseball moms sharing that their boys don't want them to cheer anymore and that their boys are distancing themselves. I panicked and looked at Sam who was running out of the dugout. I caught his eye and he gave me a big goofy smile and wave. Whew...I still have some time.

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  3. Sigh. I know what you mean. We did the ole room switcheroo this past weekend. It's so hard to let go of those nurseries. With my first 3, I didn't have a choice- we moved 3 times in 5 years. I'm dreading letting go of Zoey's nursery. I hope it won't happen for awhile. She's the last baby. I will cry. I can't wait to see the room remodels though! I know they will be fabulous!

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    1. My mister is the sentimental one in our house. I am the one that laughs and points. So...this is an entirely new experience for me!
      Just wait until you see the girl rooms! My 9 year old chose a very sophisticated look.

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  4. I got teary eyed too. We moved so had to leave our nurseries instead of re-do them but it was just as painful. I STILL have my daughters Eric Carle crib bedding (she will be nine next week!)

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    1. I had no idea what a killer this would be! I was so excited about the switch-a-roo until reality hit.
      Thanks, Robbie!

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  5. My twins are 5 and my daughter is 9, time is flying by so fast and everything is PERFECT right now I don't want it to change. They still love us, they want to hang out with us, they like bedtime songs and stories, and we are awesome in their eyes. I want to freeze time. This reminds me they grow up and we grow... well...old.

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    1. I KNOW! I feel like a dark cloud of teenage attitude is lurking. My 11 year old son will still throw his arms wide and yell "Bring it in for the real thing, Mom!" I am so not ready for that to end.
      Thank you, Rasonda.

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  6. Our only boy has always been a very low key kind of not-very-huggy guy, but he loves us, and even, doesn't mind hanging out with us, at....almost 22. In our (limited) experience, they're still fun as teens and even as young people! Yay! P.S. There's still a baseball bat leaning against the wall in the coat room. Can't quite bring myself to put it in the basement with all the other sports stuff. P.P.S. I do NOT miss stinky clothes and assorted cleats lying around the same coat room/back door!

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    1. I am hoping that our kiddos are like your guy. My husband bypassed the sulking teenage years and always loved hanging out with his folks!
      Thank you, Danda!

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  7. Totally crying right now. Maybe we should have baby 4 after all.

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    1. Planning this makeover on the same weekend that I become the mother of a teenager was not a good idea. I am a sappy mess!

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  8. What a great friend you have!
    Thank you for this post, reminding me how quick the children grow...I need to enjoy every moment I can have with my toddler!

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    1. When my kiddos were toddlers someone told me that they would be "Long days and fast years." Oh, so true.
      Thank you, Annie!

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  9. OK. I just bawled my eyes out and then read it to my husband and bawled again.

    OMG.

    Weeping here, knowing, understanding completely.

    I blinked and it was gone. I get it.

    Sending you hugs, because, well, that's what we do when we "get it."

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    1. I have been a sappy mess which is so not my style! Thank you for understanding, Michele!

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  10. I have never had children and I was tearing up. You write beautifully (totally by the way) and can really get the emotions across. Wow is really all I can say. :)

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    1. Thank you, Terry! It is a blow to my pride to admit such sentimental goo!

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  11. I blinked...and then had to blink again...and will blink tears out of my eyes when my daughter starts her grown-up life in Brooklyn this weekend. I cannot go to help her move because I think it just might kill me.
    On the other hand, I am glad she is gainfully employed.
    It's just that New York is so far away.
    *blink*

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    1. I was just wondering how you were doing with the big apple move!

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  12. *getting the gin out of the liquor closet*

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    1. Would it be wrong to just put the gin on my bedside table???

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  13. Oh thanks a lot Kerry! I just put my son in time out and now I'm feeling all guilty. Sheesh! Guess I'll have to do some extra hugging when he gets out. ;-) Truly though, I totally loved this post and completely relate. I pretty much sobbed my way through transitioning my daughter to her "big girl" room and when we donated the crib which both my babies used I almost had a breakdown. Thanks so much for sharing from your great big wonderful heart and letting us come along on the journey with you!
    Vanessa
    P.S. Will tequila work just as well?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I can top that! I have forgotten my kiddos in time out before! Oopsy.
      Taking the cribs down was hard, but this might do me in.
      Thank you so much, Vanessa!

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  14. It's always hard to let go... where did the time go... where did the baby fat go...

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    1. I am not usually a sap but this has really shaken me up!
      Oh, the baby fat! My kiddos looked like they had sausage link arms and legs. Now, they are all sting beans!
      Thank you, Andrea.

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  15. This post is incredibly moving. I just had my second and most likely last child and each day I think of how all of those little moments will be fast as ever. Just the other day I was sorting out her clothes and already putting the newborn clothes out of rotation since she outgrew them... I realized I would not be putting the newborn clothes to the side for another baby and that this was the last time she would ever need them. It really choked me up! I didn't realize how emotional I'd get. I can't even imagine how I will feel once my girls reach their teenage days... I hope you took a photo of every square inch of your nursery! I know I would have!

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    1. I am soooo not a sappy person so this took me by surprise. Those early years are such a sprint that this might be the first time I have really sat with the reality of what a blink it has been!
      Thank you, Kater.

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  16. You're killing me. I might cancel Even Steven's vasectomy. Seriously.

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    1. We had to schedule the big V and stick to it. I knew that once our youngest started walking, we would get back on the baby train!

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  17. Whew. That was a doozie! I get it, with tears streaming down my face ... I totally get it. My baby is going into kindergarten in the fall & I have been experiencing/anticipating this transition since registration back in March. Dear god I'm gonna be (am?!) a mess. And life goes on & I'm so happy & excited for this next phase!

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    1. You got it! I am so excited for the new stages but I am so sad to see the old stage go!
      Thank you, Carissa.
      I'll bring tissues on the first day of school!

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  18. That is such a beautiful nursery! I am so torn on what to do with our baby's room. I was thinking of just keeping the walls brown and then adding colorful touches.

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    1. Thank you, Holly! A nursery is such a sentimental room to let go of, huh?

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  19. just wait till you can sit down with that kid have a cocktail and talk about anything and everything..i cried all the time when he first left but mostly its wonderful watching him make his own choices self confidently and know we have had a small hand in his wonderfulness.. he still has grumpy moments but he also still gives me random hugs and cracks my back for me every morning when hes home.

    btw just sell the house! i did left my beautiful gold leafed moon and silver stars for the next owner in new jersey.

    thanks for reminding me of all that little kid stuff! i have gotten so far away from it i had forgotten.

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    1. Taya! You didn't fool me- you are a softie!
      Will your son crack my back for me?

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  20. Oh my. A friend forwarded this to me and the tears started flowing! We actually painted over the nursery and did a surprise room make over for our 3 year old daughter on our birthday (since we share one)this past January. It helps that she still says, "Momma, I love my new room." It helps to have a mister who will 'yank the band aid off fast' when you need it - a case such as this! Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable moment, you said it all perfectly.

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    1. Hi, Amy! Sorry to make you cry- I am usually the one to make folks laugh. I'm just having a moment! I love it when my kiddos call me "Momma!"
      Thank you for popping by! Come back for the funnies.

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  21. I cried for you and your kids, but I don't get why I am so not into my own kids rooms. I am so glad Jen was there I was afraid you were going to ask me to do it and I think I would have been a a crying mess too! Can't believe how grown up they all are! I miss the days of going to "home town buffet" with two kids in high chairs and food flying every which way and always someone crying for more or for what some one else had on their plate..

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  22. Those were the days, huh? Thank you beyond thank you.

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  23. We painted stars all over the ceiling of our daughter's nursery, and a moon on the mirror on the wall. When we moved to a new house, we rented that house out for a while, then sold it to our renters. They didn't paint over the nursery decor while renting -- at least not to my knowledge. I couldn't ever go back into that house, just in case our paint job wasn't there anymore.
    My daughter was 2 when we moved and doesn't even remember it. Just kills me. Fortunately, we have lots of pictures.

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    1. If we ever leave this house that I brought my babies home to, I would never be able to come back!
      Thank you for popping by, Jodi!

      Delete
  24. Ok pass the tissues....

    We moved when my twins were four...so we left nurseries (they are boy/girl)
    in NY for TX. We stayed there forever...my husband passed away the kids' sophomore college year. They graduated and moved to NY. I stayed in TX.

    I met another widow and and we got married in 2010. Now we are in OR, moving to San Diego-where my kids have settled. I will always think of my TX house as "home," though, because my babies grew up there :)

    I say have another gin. Or three... :P

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "You're killing me, Smalls!"
      What a story you have, Susan!
      Thank you for sharing...the gin!

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  25. My husband teared up at work when he read this. I was running this morning and some sad song came on...then my mind went to poor Peter Rabbit ...then I couldn't breathe and sprinted home to hug my kids.

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    1. Holy BooHoo! Sorry to sneak attack with the sappy! I promise to return to funny asap!
      Thank you so much, Jill!

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  26. What!?! No! I'm way to much of a wuss for this parenting business, even with this monster glass of rose in my hand! I am so not in a million years ready to say goodbye to baby chub. Thankfully, mine are still 8 months, 3 and almost 5, so when the baby gets too big I'll just pop another out (see how I glossed over that 9 months of hell right there? That's hormones for you!)

    http://www.stayathomeista.com/2012/06/living-room.html

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    1. Someone told me when my kiddos were toddlers that these are "long days, fast years!" Oh, so true. Have fun!

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  27. Awww crap. I got all teary eyed! Thank you for reminding me to cherish these years, we're planning our next (and last!) baby-hoping to be pregnant by September. I'm standing in our guest room and imagining a new nursery. I know by looking at my 4 year old that the chubby baby stage is so short, I can't wait to do it again. Someday it'll be me who's packing up my copies of Goodnight Moon and crying over days gone by.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Keep me posted on your baby adventures! I can live vicariously through new moms!
      Thanks for popping by, Suzie!

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  28. My Little Dude is only 2.5, but we are about to move him into a big bed and hand the crib down to his future sibling in a few months. It feels like I just picked up that crib at the store, brought it home, and let my wife's friend put it together. Time really flies. You captured that perfectly, Kerry.

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    1. What a wonderful time. The biggest surprise and the icing on the cake was to watch the older kiddos welcome the new babies into the gang!
      Thanks for stopping by, Dude.

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  29. Your post makes me teary, Kerry. I know how hard it is to say goodbye. Though I haven't yet have little ones of my own, I know many parents wants time to pass by slowly and they can keep the sweet little things they do together, for longer. That's part and parcel of parenting, I guess ;)

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    1. I have loved every stage but I am hearing rumblings of the teenage horrors. Could my sweet kiddos really turn on me?
      I'm hoping that they follow in their daddy's footsteps. He was a good teenager and loved spending time with his folks.
      Thanks, Jamie!

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  30. Awww, so bittersweet. I feel like a lot of people are writing about this lately...must be something about summer.

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    1. Oh, good! I was feeling like a total sap.
      Thanks for popping in!

      Delete
  31. UGH! This is so SAD! I am so sorry, but I'm so glad you have four kids to enjoy as they grow.

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    1. They are at a really fun stage right now. I just fear what the teenage years are about to bring.

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  32. This was so sweet! We're in our third house since my oldest was born, so we've already had to break up the nursery a few times. It wasn't easy though! The worst was when we sold our last house, and the horrible appraiser claimed their rooms weren't neutral enough, so we painted everything boring off white. Bleh!

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    1. Neutral BLAH! Our appraiser commented on our "old hexagon tile" in our bathroom. I had just spent a ton of time finding the right tile to look authentic. He rolled his eyes when I said that it was actually new.
      Thanks, Patricia!

      Delete
  33. Oh such a great post!!! So hard to say goodbye to those precious baby days. But such a good friend to do the work you couldn't do!!!

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    1. Thank you so much, Debra! I am getting so sentimental in my old age!
      Thank you for hosting such a fantastic party!

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  34. Oh! I do understand you! I had that sentimental feeling with all my children's baby clothes...toys...furniture... As you say, stages of life! but everything related with them as babies is very special...
    BTW, those plates and mugs are so cute! I collect vintage children's dishes and storybooks!
    I love your blog and visited it several times but it's my first comment.
    Besos from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Silvina.

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    1. Thank you! Our cousin hand-painted the mugs. So, they were extra special and hard to pack away.

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  35. Awww, this was so bittersweet and a beautiful post. I am all teary now

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    1. Thank you, Laurel. I am getting so sappy in my old age!

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  36. Hi Kerry!!!

    I know the feeling. My oldest is 28 and the "Baby", is 21 yrs old. And everybody thinks I'm 35 (I wish!!).

    I miss my babies so much and sometimes I just go to them and tell them how cute they are while I'm pinching their cheeks.

    I teared up with the last picture. Your kids are very lucky to have you!!

    Have a great weekend!!
    Pam
    PamLuvsPink

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  37. I LOVE this post. When you originally posted it I didn't comment for whatever reason - probably was reading on my phone.

    You know I'm in the same sad mommy boat today! Yes, parenting is not for wussies, for sure.

    BTW, I have not been able to part with the nursery stuff. It's all in the attic!

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    1. Your post? A 1st grader? The blankie? I died.
      Thanks for popping by, JD!

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  38. such a lovely post. i never really had a nursery room - looks like my laziness has paid off for once - but buying our kids desks and other things they'll need for real homework this year, well, yeah... parenting is not for wussies.

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    1. Laziness can be a beautiful thing!
      Thank you, Anna!

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  39. yep-yep. Winnie The Pooh live in a box now. All wrapped up. It's tough!

    Chin up. I only got one. You got a nice baby fix. You had a good run ;)

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    1. Thank you, Shannon. Those were long days but fast years, huh?

      Delete
  40. Oh my goodness, you got me at "goodbye nursery" and the reference to "Good Night Moon." There should be a book for parents to read just along those lines when you realize this phase is ending. Goodbye sippy cups. Goodbye diaper bag. The things you didn't realize you'd miss until they're gone. What a lovely post.

    Visiting from Honest Mom's link up.

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    1. Cheryl! What a fantastic idea! I am so doing that in a post! (Unless you are?) I'll give you inspiration credit! THANK YOU!

      Delete

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