To my sweet and precious children, I’m pretty sure you don’t read my blog (lol!), but this one is for you.
When I was young, I remember thinking about how I couldn’t wait to be a mother, I loved playing mom, and taking care of my dolls and later on my friends (as a cancer, I have always had a very nurturing soul). Now that I’m all grown up and have three children of my own, I feel so fortunate every day that I get to live out my dream. And yes, if you’re wondering, it’s exactly what I thought it would be like (minus a few sleepless nights here and there).
When it was just me and you Lia, life overflowed with the joys and challenges of being a new mom. I remember when I was 8 days past my due date and you were sitting cozy in my belly, how scary it was to think of labour and the potential of an emergency C-section, but little did I know, 22 hours later, that the scariest part was yet to come: motherhood. Being the mom to a young girl is a hard feat, but I take each day in stride and I try my hardest to instil good values in you and your sister so that you grow up to be women of integrity, women who stand up for themselves, and women who believe in something (whatever it is) and fight for it. Your sister came but 2 years later. Racing her way out into the world, the two of you are so different and it started from day 1. Neva, after but 3 hours of intense and quick labour, you made your way into our family and have given my life new purpose. I was no longer the mom to just 1 girl. Now I had 2; 2 girls to nurture and raise separately into your own unique selves, but also, 2 girls to whom I would teach the meaning of friendship. Both of you are so strong-willed – I hope you keep that forever, because a strong mind will help you when things get tough, but I also hope that you know when to soften, and how to own up to your faults. Understanding the difference between being determined and being stubborn is a lesson my mother taught me. It’s an age-old saying, but it’s better to try and fail then never to try at all. Here’s the twist, knowing when to throw in the towel means you know the difference between perseverance and simply quitting because things go too difficult.
A few years passed as well as a few miscarriages. I try not to think of the ones I’ve lost, because Lev, you were the one that stuck. And I am eternally grateful that we kept trying, because you complete our family. Along with all of the lessons we teach your sisters, we’ve added on a few more important ones, like honesty and generosity.
I’ve learned the importance of parenting my children both as a family unit, but also as individuals. At only 3 years old, you are so different from your sisters, and your love of cars and trucks has taught me that sometimes I need to move past the things I love to do so that I can find a point in common with the people I love… and now I love vrooming cars around your room too! You’ve taught me that even a 2-year-old can make an impact on the world, when you decided to go vegan and have stuck to it ever since!
Some things I’ve learned throughout my life have played a major role in the way I parent, while others have simply become so much a part of me, I’m not even sure it was a lesson I learned, or if it’s just who I am. I never ever go to bed angry. Anger is a sentiment that I choose to remove from my life – and if the odd mood-damper enters my day, I make sure to remove it by night time. This is a vital tidbit of info, so guard it safely. Your days on earth are precious, don’t waste them on negativity. Choose happiness.
Thriving in the throes of social settings, you are smiley, kind, and warm soul, my littler Lia, you are growing up before my very eyes and you make me so proud. I love spending time with you and getting to know you. If there is ever a reason why I am sad, I know that your face will lift me up. You are so powerful and I wish that life brings you the happiness and success that you want in your life, whatever that may be. Neva, my bath buddy, your heart is unmatched, and your generosity knows no bounds. You are my little mother’s helper, and I see so much of myself in you, in both of you. If I were a genie, I’d wiggle my nose and hope that you always have everything that makes you smile. Because, when you smile, the whole world smiles with you. And Lev, your personality is larger-than-life, you are funny and just so purely sweet. You make everyone around you happy, and so my wish for you is that you stay true to yourself and find out what makes you happy and go after it.
It’s funny, being a mom was always my dream, but being your mom is a reality I could never have imagined. We have a lifetime ahead of us, and although I am so excited to see what the future has in store for each one of you, I am grateful to have each present day with you, to know you to play with you, to be by your side, and to guide you as best as I can. Even on those travel days when I’m away or when things are chaotic and I just need a break, ironically enough, I can’t wait to get back to you. You are my life. You give me purpose.
I hope we continue to dance and sing together and that your love of music continues to lift you up. Whenever I’m upset or feeling troubled, music offers me a way out of my mind, so I’m glad I’ve imparted my love for all things musical into all three of you. Enjoying a good song and hanging out with friends reminds me of how I grew up, and I want those memories for you.
Seeing life through your eyes shows me how sometimes it’s the tiniest things that make you happy or leave you in awe of life’s wonders. Life can be so magical, and watching you all navigate the world day by day puts the biggest smile on my face. Living life through your eyes is one of the best parts of being a mom.
I know today is the day you celebrate me (yay!), but every Mother’s Day I take a moment to reflect on how lucky and privileged I am to have three beautiful children. I take a moment to celebrate my mother, the woman who raised me and taught me that inner beauty counts for more than what sparkles on the outside. The woman who taught me that the most important thing in life is to be happy and healthy and be surrounded by people you love and who love you too.
Here's to another year of quality time with each of you. Whether it’s a warm bath, a park date, or racing cars before bed. Here’s to another year of game nights, dinners and dance parties, reading books together, and all the nighttime snuggles and cuddles; one day you’ll be too old to want mommy falling asleep with you in your bed!
I love you all with every fibre of my being. Thank you for giving me the best gift, the gift of motherhood.
Photography by Patricia Brochu