It has been a while since my last post and for very good reason. The past month has been like living in a crazy whirlwind since I accepted a teaching position in Jersey. Not my usual area of expertise though; something completely new. A really exciting opportunity to be part of a movement that hopes to bring the critically endangered language Jèrriais to the youngest members of Jersey’s community.
This is a big deal. The newly created position is fundamental to the survival of a central part of the island’s cultural heritage. No pressure then…
And for me and my family? I will be returning to my place of birth, my family and my childhood friends. The move means my son Harry will enjoy the same fantastic upbringing that I had and will be closer to his grandad. The job will also bring me closer to my own grandparents, despite the fact they have both passed away. I will be spending the next two years learning their native tongue – the language they spoke to each other when they didn’t want the occupying German forces to know what they were talking about.
So I am thrilled, excited, anxious and stressed all at the same time. For the last four weeks we have been packing up our lives in Derbyshire, organising somewhere to live in Jersey, navigating the responsibilities of becoming landlords, redecorating and updating our house, fretting over the travel arrangements for our cats, chasing emails, filling in copious amounts of forms and sitting on hold on the telephone for hours. This, on top of the book I am currently writing, which is due out early next year.
Then there are our duties as parents to Harry, and unfortunately for him we are both slightly distracted at the moment.
Harry’s milk teeth are holding on for dear life and preventing his adult teeth from coming through. This means that on Tuesday for the second time he had to visit the dentist and endure the unpleasant business of having another tooth pulled. Our courageous little boy took it all in his stride again, explaining to the dentist how the Tooth Fairy had given him a bonus last time because he had been so brave.
Tuesday evening as Harry went to bed we put the tooth under his pillow and kissed him goodnight. My husband Ged then continued to paint the spare bedroom while I went to the computer to fill in another form…
Cut to this morning and the sobs from the hallway as I rinsed my hair in the shower.
“She forgot me!” he wailed.
“Oh no!” I thought. He may as well have cried, “YOU forgot me!”
“It’s OK,” I called from the bathroom. “She won’t have forgotten. Something must have happened. [Quick think of something.] She just won’t have been able to find it…”
“Oh, that’s happened twice at our house,” said my friend Julia later in the playground, much to my relief. And we are not the only ones I later discover when chatting to three other parents.
So last night Harry left a letter on his bed explaining where his tooth was in the hope that the Tooth Fairy might return. And this morning…
“She’s been! And I’m very lucky because she’s left something really special – a letter – and there’s a pound but she calls it a gold coin, and she does build castles with the teeth!”
It’s amazing what a little fairy dust can do.