Yesterday was mother’s day but I thought I would post this today because today is my parents 24th wedding anniversary. Yes I am 24, if you do the math you will get to the wrong conclusion, I will correct you now, they didn’t get hitched because my mom was knocked up! Far from it!
My parents met briefly in the winter of 86-87 as my mother was shovelling the snow in front of the apartment building they shared and my dad asked if she wanted help. My mother, the awesome feminist that she is, said no and that she was well capable to shovel by herself. That’s it. Romantic first encounter, isn’t it?
A few months later, in the spring, at a party in the building, my mother and father finally really met. The massive coats had been shed and my dad had finally shaved his massive beard. She approached him and he didn’t understand anything. My dad could only speak about 5 words of French at the time as he had only arrived in Canada 6 months prior to that. My mother didn’t despair and asked if perhaps he wanted French lessons. He obviously said yes. The rest is history. They moved in together before the end of the year and I was born less than 2 years later to two absolutely loving new parents.
They got married in 1990 (just before I was to turn 1 year old) because that year also marked the end of the dictatorship in Chile. Both my uncle’s family and my father escaped the dictatorship in Chile to come and ask for political asylum in Canada. While they both could have gone back when it ended, they had started lives here in Montreal and so they were to stay. I can’t imagine how our lives would have been if my dad, my mom and I had moved back to Chile in the 1990s. It would have been very different!
But no, my parents got married. They signed papers and threw a big party at our home and that’s it, we were to stay here and continue our lives. My brother was born 3 years later.
I was born to a very rich family. Not in the monetary sense, as we were never ‘rich’ rich. But they gave me something even better, it was/is a very culturally rich family. My parents gave me my fascination for books and my love of libraries. To the day, if I want a recommendation, my parents can pull books out in an instant on whichever subject pleases me. I started travelling at age 1 and got to be immersed in two different cultures for my entire life. Being opened to more than what I saw back home in Canada. I was brought to the theatre very early on in my life, which brought another love for acting. My mom gave me her freckles and pale complexion. My father gave me his big cheeks and dark eyes (and weirdly elvish ears). My mom gave me her keenness for life and all things educative and my father gave me his ridiculous sense of humour (I’m also pretty sure I inherited my love of baking from his mother).
I was also always encouraged to pursue more and bigger things. I always thought I could accomplish whatever I wanted. When an opportunity came up to study abroad in Berlin, my parents were happy and pushed me to say yes. Actually, they always encouraged me to say yes. No opportunity is lost, everything makes you brighter and brings you something, knowledge or experience or simply unforgettable memories. It’s because of them that I want and believe I can achieve so much in my life. ‘Of course you can write a book, Camila!’ ‘You never know, perhaps they will accept you at St Andrews, Camila!’ ‘It’s worth a chance, Camila!’ That is the amazing thing about my parents. They believed in me whenever and whatever happened. That is the greatest gift parents can give their children.
My parents love each other so much and I can still see that today, 27 years after they first met. So this post today is in homage to them and the amazing parents and people that they are. I just want to say I love you and I’m proud to be your daughter everyday. <3