Mother’s Day always feels like a Hallmark holiday to me, although I don’t begrudge the opportunity for us to express gratitude to our mothers (although, frankly, we could be expressing it anytime).

A road not taken

Mother’s Day, the Covid-19 edition, probably looks very different to many people, especially to those who have multigenerational celebrations – no brunches out with mom and grandma. Mine, however, looked much as it has for decades, calling my mother, across the sea in Hawaii (no flowers this year – austerity measures are in place!) – and no celebration for me.

Quite a few of my friends who delayed parenthood for careers now have 6 and 7 year old kids, and they’ve been telling me of both the trials and tribulations of child-rearing in quarantine. I still can’t imagine how some of them manage to homeschool and get anything done, and because I can’t really be the usual Auntie Sarah lending a hand (babysitting via Zoom is not terribly practical) I feel very removed from their experience.

Sometimes I’m acutely aware of my childlessness, and these weeks in lockdown have given me more time for reflection than I usually have. And to be honest, it’s a really, really difficult topic to work through. The fact that I don’t have children is both a choice and not a choice (it’s complicated – I’ll cover this in a much longer post over on my other blog soon) and it still takes work to be at peace with this fact.

On one hand, I wouldn’t have been able to have the career I have, or to live in the city I live, had I had children. On the other, it still gut-punches me to think of what life would have been like with kids, although I realize that this doesn’t help me at all. It reminds me of the state of the world we all face right now; there’s nothing we can do with the situation at hand, and the best we can do is to keep moving forward given what we have. And so we do, and so I do.

I don’t have any neat way to tie up this thought, but it’s just one I wanted to share on this quarantined Mother’s Day.

Have you called your mother today?

My task: I’ve been working on a lot on online and virtual projects, but I want to start pivoting towards working on projects I’m producing for future performances. I need to keep the balance between dealing with the challenges at hand while anticipating the needs of the future. I think I’ve got a plan for the upcoming week (done!)

6 thoughts on “Motherhood

  1. You say it gut punches you to think of what your life would have been like with kids. I have three (mostly grown now) children, and gut punches might be too strong a description, but I have my moments where I dare to imagine what I might have done without them. It practically leaves me breathless.


  2. Maestra, I’m proud of you (je suis fier de toi ou de vous). I’m starting tonight with your section “My tasks”. I think it is good to start producing. Your husband seems to know a lot in finance. He will help out. You’ll see.
    Yes, I called my mama today. She’s 86 and will turn 87 this October 15. She’s all there. She doesn’t have much school but she is a lovely soul. She knows that Clint Eastwood will turn 90 this coming May 31. I think she always had a little crush on him even if my dad understand it. Here is something to make you laugh. As I was talking to her over the phone (they still have the regular phone with the thread) she said that we shouldn’t talk too long on the line because of the virus. I started to laugh out loud and then explained her it didn’t work that way. My mom never knew her own mom because she passed away when my mom was 6 months. Her mom (Antoinette Leblanc) was only 28 in 1934. She was beautiful and we have an oval sepia picture of her from 1930. She won the title of the most beautiful woman’s of Victoriaville back in 1926. I wanted to pay tribute to her at the same occasion as I’m commenting.
    Maestra Sarah, let me say something about children. We live in a world (USA, Canada, Europe,…) where we do have pressure from the society to found a family of a least two children. I have a 20 years old boy now (Myckael) but it wasn’t always easy. We’re both rn and had been working on evening and night shifts and dealt with practical parenthood. We also had these kind of comments: “You know you should have at least another one in case your son would die.” I answered my way and there was some f words. My son Myckael doesn’t want any child himself when he sees where our society is heading. He can still change his mind but it is quite a statement from a young man (teenager age finish at 24 according to experts). Sarah you’ve made a choice and it’s understandabled with all due respect. Your job is not an easy one and I mean it. We see you in concert with your orchestras. We see the final products of your projects but there is a lot of job behind the scenes (pre-prod., rehearsals, post prod., …). I remember my wife told me that she heard an interview with Maestro Kent Nagano. He doesn’t like to talk much about his private life and it is just fine. He has a girl but when you read between lines it didn’t seem always easy to raise her (because of his job). That was her understanding. The most important think is to feel fine in your Heart&Soul with your decision, Sarah. It’s the same think with your husband, I guess. This is a humble point of view from a guy who doesn’t know much about family and life but who listen, look and then let his heart speak throughout his funny French Canadian accent.
    To finish Sarah, I wanted to share another ‘Surreal’ moment of my nobody’s life (I like it so much). My sister (Renée) turned 58 this May 6 (1962). Her son (Francis) was born on May 6, 1983. The wife of Francis is a teacher (not a rn. Ha!Ha!Ha!). She (Marie-Christine) was pregnant of her second one. The first one is Odélie (pronounce Odeylee as you probably know) and she is almost 4. I was working on May 6. I chatted with my sister (Renée) on Fb. I was in my car. After a home visit, she sent me a pm. Marie-Christine (the teacher) gave birth to Simon on May 6. I called back my sister and said to her: “You might qualify for the Guiness book of records. 6-6-6. Go and get a lottery ticket.” This is awesome, isn’t it? Life is short (me and my wife got the covid-19 but we survived even if it was something. I had to go and pass the test in the nostril at ‘Place des Festivals’. I realized it was aside Place des Arts and was then thinking how life could change quickly. I was saying to myself that I missed a show where I really wanted to be to see a famous Maestra a couple weeks earlier. I don’t have time to make up stories or bs. I’m speaking the truth but you’re the judge. Take care. Be safe. (Faites attention à vous. Soyez prudents). xo from Montréal (now among the unfamous covid-19 hot zones in north America). Ça va bien aller! (Everything we’ll be fine!).


    1. chefdorch says:

      I love your novelesque comments! And how interesting that your son as such a young man would decide against children. We indeed have to consider where civilization may be going before we bequeath it to future generations.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we all live a novalesque life sometimes. For me it started when I was about 5 with that mythical movie that I told you about. That story will die with me. Sometimes I wonder if late brother Camàra is sending me some signs from Heaven or whatever how we call it. Who nows. Keep up your good work, Sarah.


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