Given that travel had not been an option for us before Sophie was treated, we decided to take a short family vacation this spring. We headed to Montreal to hang out for a couple of days. We wandered around to see what we could find and just took life easy. The girls were suspicious at first of this idea of just wandering to see what adventures you have, but by the end they seemed pretty happy about it all. With a nice day, some food and water why not choose a random direction and see where it takes you? I suppose our life is usually so focused that this seemed strange to them.
We had lots of good adventures. We found musical swings and returned a number of times to play on them. We found a pirate ship, shown above, with climbing activities. We found a pond with ducks and sat to read and make a platypus/dog/pumpkin family home (very blended family). We found a park with cool boulders and had a picnic while exploring the rocks. My favorite thing was watching Runa get stuck while on the climbing ships and watching her work through it. She did not cry or curse, she just kept at it, trying different things until she succeeded. That moment made me feel like a success as a parent.
The hotel we stayed at had a big pond with koi and bridges which the children enjoyed a lot. They named the fish and went to see them each morning. It was good to just have time to hang out with the children and talk and be. Sophie had some trouble with the noise, especially after our subway trip, but we survived. We watched a lot of HGTV, found a lot of rocks and Runa bought herself a wooden sword.
The thing I found strange about the trip was the amount of "indianess" there. Most of it made in China and indian inspired. It is pretty frustrating to see all those lost opportunities for real indigenous artists. It also came across in our visit to the Archeology museum which had a fancy light show that zoomed through the fact that indigenous people were and are part of that space to get to a loving look at the 1920s and 1960s. This was extra strange as they had a special exhibit of early Quebec archeology including a 500 year old canoe and other items (with no recognition to the communities to whom they may have been historical artifacts from). Indianess is obviously great but Indians are not.
As we had time reading the newspaper we also got to read about the residential schools and the Catholic church which made us pretty mad. As I have said before, the lack of real action on the residential schools issue was the point we left the church and this kind of action feels like a further reminder that the church did not and does not see indigenous people as real people.