Monday, December 29, 2008

La Belle Province

I'm feeling a bit sad this week. No, sad isn't really the right word. Perhaps nostalgic, pensive, melancholy, or reminescent would better fit the bill.

When I first came to this province, I had no intention of staying. I was going to save up some cash, and hi-tail it back to Quebec to go back to school. A few months in, I met Rich, got married and the rest is history. Now, a marriage, 3 kids, a house and a business later, this is my home. I do miss Quebec, though. I miss the people, the language, the culture, the pride (even if it does come before a fall), the personality, the energy that vibrates the streets, the charm of it all, the food, the store hours and coffee shops...

When I lived in Quebec, I didn't understand what the fuss was all about keeping our traditions and culture alive. Now, I struggle with keeping my ancestral roots alive in me, and growing in my children. My daughters, who cannot pronounce "poutine" correctly, and who look at me blankly when I tell them that they are "tellement jolie" or to "arrĂȘte tes niaiseries!". I am told how lucky I am to be bilingual, and that it is so important to teach my children another language. There's only so much I can do without support.

I am very aware of how long it has been since my children have been to La Belle Province. It's been too long for me, too. I wait impatiently for spring so that I can tuck them into the car and make the drive, but it's frightening. I don't want to be disappointed or hurt if it means less to them than I hoped. Will they understand that this culture is embeded in their very fibres? Will they love the people as I do? Will they be proud of their ancestry, or will this be a trip that they will simply tolerate?

I want them to know Franglais, the shores of the Saint Lawrence, the smell of boiling sap in March, the heavy scent of fresh cut hay, the cobblestones, the stubbornness of a people that won't let go of it's origins, the pick-up games of hockey, cheese so fresh it squeeks between your teeth, the two-cheek kiss...

I want to go home.