Yesterday was Yorkshire Day and I am proud to say that Joshua is born and bred in Yorkshire, he has known no other home. Whereas my husband and I are both interlopers, we moved here for jobs back in 1989, a mere 30 years ago! My boss was from across the pennines too and he explained that even after living in the same town for around 40 years, and bringing up his three children in Yorkshire, he would never feel that he was considered to be a local. Yet my husband and I have now lived here longer than anywhere else in our lives : I lived for the first 11 years of my life in Scotland and I remember my Scottish childhood very fondly; my traditional primary education stood me in good stead, particularly in maths. Then I moved to Cheshire for my secondary education, for 7 years before moving away for four years at university. Upon graduation, my husband and I set up home in Yorkshire, where he was offered his first job.
We moved 150 minutes drive away from where both sets of parents lived, to pursue our careers and in 1995 we married and bought our forever home here. That choice did have implications however , particularly when Joshua was born.We did not have any grandparents or Aunts on the doorstep, to be able to help out with raising and caring for the new addition to our family. My parents stayed with us for a while once we came home from Special Care, but it was not easy as it meant them being away from their home. We had many weekend visits and overnight stays for Christmas as Joshua grew, but I was always envious of those families who had grandparents on the doorstep; those whose Granny was able to pick the children up from school occasionally and take them home for tea and those whose grandparents attended sports day to cheer on the next generation in races. Thankfully we have been blessed with Yorkshire Grandma who has been a local presence in Joshua’s life, for all of his life and she has fulfilled the role well and supports us as though we were her family.
Being local would have been easier in terms of childcare certainly, but also, when Dad became ill with dementia, it would have been much easier for me to support Mum better in her caring role if we had lived a few minutes away, so that I could have called in regularly and to have offered more practical help. When Mum was in hospital, I visited a couple of times a week, whenever I could, but I would have liked to have called in everyday ideally. We made a choice many years ago about where to work and live, without knowing what the future held, and we have made the best of it.
In the meantime, thank you Yorkshire for giving us a home, for making us all welcome.