Home for the Holidays

In less than two months now, I will be taking a plane bound for Montréal with my husband to introduce the newest member of our family to my “old” family. As usual, I am very excited at the thought of going home to Québec and celebrating with them. But as usual also, I am scared and already a little bit sad. Scared because every time I go, I come back slightly depressed, and I’m affraid it’s just going to be worse this time with a baby.

Living in this self-imposed exile is relatively easy to do on a day-to-day basis. Not that I don’t miss my family and friends tremendously: I do, and I think of them every single day. I also miss living in French, I miss the Québec culture and I miss this part of my personality that really only comes out when I’m there. But in everyday life, when I’m busy working or taking care of a baby, my mind is somewhere else. Until I go back home. Then I can’t ignore anymore the fact that my nephew and my goddaughter, for instance, are already 9 years old even though they were born yesterday. I don’t see them grow. I miss out on everything they learn, love and experience. I’m not there for birthday parties, births or funerals. And it’s when I see my relatives again, especially the kids, and I discover how much they have changed since the last time I was there, that it really strikes me hard.

The problem is, there is no easy solution. If I was to move back to Québec, I would miss BC, the ocean and the mountains, I would miss seeing bald eagles flying over the city, I would miss the importance that nature has in our lives here and that I would have trouble recreating in Québec. And now that I have a child, I am even more torn, because I like the life that I can offer him here, but I wish he could get the family life that I enjoyed growing in Québec with an extended family of 8 aunts and uncles, and dozens of cousins to run around and play with during get-togethers.

So that’s why it scares me to go. Because even though I have been living in Vancouver for 5 years, I still feel like home is in Québec. I am still a Québécoise, but I am realizing that my son will probably never be a Québécois. He will speak French, but will be more comfortable with English. I know those things in my brain, but going back home with him, seeing my whole family marvel over him and pass him from one set of loving arms to the next, my heart will see what my brain has known. And I will be crying when I leave. Hell, I’m already crying just thinking about it…

One Response to “Home for the Holidays”

  1. Danielle Says:

    Sophie… je ne sais que dire… seulement que je comprends ce que tu vis… C’est dur d’être partagée entre deux pays, deux cultures… Je t’embrasse très fort!