I am glad that on this Canada Day, I will be able to concentrate on my Daughter’s sixth birthday. She was lucky enough to be born in one of the best countries in the world, and on that same country’s birthday. So I am lucky enough to ponder. I can wonder about whether her long lanky body will make her suitable for basketball, track and field or ballet; and not have to think about the condition of our country. I can reflect on her remarkable growth from small baby to her present status: my young lady.
Today, I can focus on her brown eyes and her silly way of being. I can daydream today as she enjoys her special privileges and dream about a potential future for her. About a spouse – man or woman – that she will spend time with and the children I hope she will have. I can fantasize about her marriage and her graduation. I can dream about her dreaming about her own children’s future many years from now.
Especially, on this Canada Day, I am happy to think about her future. Like our own country, my daughters’ future has yet to be written. I could focus on my daughter’s various mistakes, for she is not perfect. However, as a parent, I don’t. I don’t because her future is so much more exciting. She is living and well and here, so why worry about her past? As a person, she will always make mistakes. Consequently, what parents focus on is hoping that the mistakes lead to lessons learned and growing wisdom.
On this 150th anniversary, I will be pondering about how to teach my daughter to read and how to get her to ride a bicycle without training wheels. While, I could think about the time she went to Sheldon Chumir’s Health Centre due to an injury at Chinook Mall or the time she pushed to hard when she was learning how to use a toilet, I won’t think about any health issues. For, my Daughter’s present is imperfect but her future is full of possibility.
On this Canada Day, I could think about the Internment Japanese, German and Italian Canadians. I could think about the poor treatment of those of colour or less than stellar treatment of the LGBTQ community. I could dwell on the poor treatment of Mennonites or Woman at the turn of the century; or I could think about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its work on documenting the Indian Residential Schools System. We could think about Treaties or the Constitution. But I won’t; for, I would rather focus on my daughters’ future. I would rather work to ensure that my Daughter has a country which treats her as an individual. I would rather her country not look at the colour of her skin or her sex, or what her sexual orientation or sexual identity might be; for, our country should concentration on her abilities instead.
Today, I am going to acknowledge that my daughter is a person and can grow. I am going to say she is not perfect but is getting closer to it. I am going to say that she can become better through wisdom, learning and understanding. I am going to focus on my daughter’s next 6 years.
In that way, I won’t pay attention to Canada’s 150th birthday but will focus on our next 150 years because we can be more than what we are. Today, I take the day off for my daughter; tomorrow, I become a citizen again and help build the next 150 years. A time when we can be inclusive and more caring, where we can use evidence to come up with solutions which provide additional benefits to the majority, while not impinging on minorities. For what, we have learned is that we can grow the pie through evidence, science, technology and wisdom. We can do more and I hope we will make the next 150 years better than the last 150 years. This is what we can do as imperfect beings, we can do better.