On a day like today even the most jaded spirits puts everything aside to celebrate motherhood and the wonderful woman in their lives.
It’s a title I am embracing with my head held up high, more now than ever. As I get older, I am witnessing such beautiful serendipity moments around me. The pure unconditional love I have for my child is nothing I have ever experienced nor expected. It’s a completely different emotion, it’s not the same that you have for your partner nor for your sister or your best friend, it’s in a league of it’s own, it’s wild and it’s so intense you have to surrender to it and just breathe.
I would of never expected to feel such a fundamental need to give her all of my being, my “forced” smile at 5am, my cuddles of comfort at 2am. I also never expected to have so much influence in shaping this little human for the world ahead. Damn, that’s a whole lot of pressure on someone that’s still figuring it out for herself. But I have to say so far I could not be prouder of her and I. She’s not perfect and except for my husband, we all know I am not either (please don’t tell him that, he still thinks I’m the bomb!)
The truth is, besides all the added stress we mothers so easily put on our shoulders, I do think we are all trying to do our best. If I can raise my girl to have respect and self worth for her mind, her body and her spirit and her environment, I think she will be strong enough to figure the rest out.
I’m not sure how my mom did it, I really don’t. She worked non-stop, went back to school when I was 12, she was a part of every fundraisers and committees for my sister and I and did it all with conviction and passion,pretty much like she does everything in her life.
She never allowed for me to feel any less than I should because someone said so. She never tolerated for me to feel sorry for myself or quit. I was never allowed to speak badly about someone or be a mean girl. My mother taught me to be caring yet strong, smart yet humble, independent yet allowed being vulnerable. She made it so that I always felt proud, smart and confidant in who I was, to handle myself in any situation…not always gracefully but without self doubt.
She always appeared to have a strong sense of self. The most impactful example being in my very name. Born premature and in a foreign country, my parents had to provide the hospital with my name. Not completely certain, my father loved the name Pascale while my mother loved the name Anouk and so it was it became Pascale Anouk. Fast forward a few years later when the law finally agreed to allow mother’s to give their last name to their children, my mother (and father) made sure that my sister and I did not miss this opportunity and so my name officially became:
Pascale Anouk Rivest-Gadbois.
As a child, I remember being “the kid” with the longest name but it never bothered me, to me it was normal. I was as much daddy as I was mommy. Looking back with my grown up eyes, I am so proud of her conviction, her stand. It is with her strength that I now look at my own girl and wish her the same.
And my dad you may ask, well he taught me how kindly a man should always treat me!
Now if I only can pass it all to my daughter and not mess her up too much, she should be well on her way.
I am sharing with you one of my favourite song. This song shakes my very soul every time I listen to it. It’s complex, intense, mysterious and beautiful all at once, dare I say how I would also describe motherhood.
Maman, je t’aime.