We are in La Belle France.
Yesterday was so hectic. It started in much the same way my morning has today. I awoke very early before the children and had some time to myself downstairs with a cup of coffee. We hadn’t been able to fit everything in the van, so some last little things needed packing in the car. My wedding dress, the cat, my daughters Gruffolo trunky full of toys.
Whilst Les Petits were sleeping I’d snuck upstairs to steal away the few toys left so they could take them on the ferry. Le Marie had already left, so at 6.15 I went into their room to wake them for the journey. La Jolie Fille was already awake, smiling in her travel cot. I went in noisily and took her out, holding her and chatting so La Belle Fille woke too. She did so with a “I don’t want to get up yet.” I started to laugh and tease her – she’s terrible for going to sleep. She started laughing too and up she got, happily.
Then in the top of the stairs she said she needed to go and get Princess Bear – the special bear that I’d bought for her when we knew we were going to be blessed with her. The bear is so pretty, with a pale green silk dress and flowers on her head. After we’d decorated her room before she came I’d put the bear on a top shelf, knowing she was too delicate to give to a boddler (baby toddler). Later on as La Belle grew she could see her up there and actually climbed up to get her down!
It was love at first sight and the story of why she was there made her love her more. I had thought she was still too young, but at that point what could I do. So a strict rule was made; she couldn’t take Princess Bear (as she named her) out of the house.
So when her innocent question was asked I happily responded – “Don’t worry, I sneaked into your room and she’s waiting in the car for you in trunky, all safe and sound.”
That was the wrong answer. I’d forgotten my reason for not allowing her out of the house, that she could get damaged. After some time on the stairs I could just make out through the loud tears – Princess Bear can’t leave the house in case she’s hurt. She has to stay here!
I was stood on the top of the stairs holding La Jolie Fille trying to explain and cajole; La Belle was not for moving. Eventually I took La Jolie to the car and put her in the seat intending to just go back and get her older sister to carry her down too. I left the front door open and, as the house was empty and echoey, La Belle’s wails could be heard very clearly in the street, it sounded like something dreadful was happening inside!
When I took her outside, still wailing, and got her in the car and showed her Princess Bear my explanations eventually sunk in – we had to take her or she wouldn’t see her again. She would be safe in trunky in the car.
We started towards the ferry with La Belle now smiling and La Jolie positively squealing with joy. The wonder and absurdity of having our cat Moo on the back seat between them both in her cat box was the most exciting thing ever.
At the ferry terminal for the first time I had to check Moo’s chip. She’d never travelled with us before. Cue lots of climbing over seats and worryingly getting the cat box opened to scan her. I must say that that Feliway spray seemed to do the trick – Moo was calm throughout the journey.
Sat waiting to board the boat I had a phone call from La Marraine; she round it hilarious that i was still so calm. It still hadn’t sunk in. We’d been on this route so many times it didn’t feel unusual. Even when a man asked us how long we were staying on holiday and I replied we were moving here there was nothing!
Having met Le Marie and Le Parrain on board (who was helping us move) we spent the journey together and the parted ways; them back to the van and us to the car. More squeals from La Jolie on seeing the cat. A long journey not able to go to the toilet as they were both asleep in the back and then we arrived at Le Parents to stay until our new home is ready.
By now I was exhausted and we went to bed, all four of us in a big attic room. Le Marie must have felt it because he said “We made it after all this time” before he went to sleep.
Then this morning I woke to the sound of The Angelus drifting through our bedroom window. It was so still. I got up and crept downstairs.
We are here. My prayers are answered. We now live in France.
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.