Childless Mother, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Recently (as many as a few years ago, or so), I’ve noticed that every Mother’s Day my mother never fails to wish my older sister, who is without children, “…Happy Mother’s Dear…”  My older sister has no children of her own and I’ve often wondered why my mother bothers to wish my older sister a Happy Mother’s day?

Because of my mother’s well-wishes, I’m forced to contemplate, to wonder, “…why is my Mother wishing my older sister a ‘Happy Mother’s day’…”?  Then I remembered.

I remembered my older sister was the One child accountable for all of her younger brothers and sisters’ actions in absence of my parents!  I remembered her bathing our younger brothers and sisters.  I remembered her asking me to fetch a warm wash cloth to clean the newest family members’ baby butt, but I hid in the closet and acted like I was no where around–this was back in the days before “baby wipes”.  Of course, I remember lots of other stuff, as I know you do too.  Nostalgically, I think I get it?

I think I get it.  My mother acknowledges that she has relied on our older sister to help take care of us.  New terms come to mind: “gender-specific culturally inherited roles,” this is what most of our Samoan daughters/sisters are expected to do, and that is to help take care of our family–LMFAO (so glad I’m me: true tama Samoa!).

Naturally, for every holiday or every special occasion, my sister is always giving gifts that include photos of moments we’ve forgotten about: ‘just because’ moments, latest family gatherings, Christmas or birthdays, etc., etc., etc.  But more than her collage of photos given as creative gift ideas, she’s always been there for us, for our children’s children, she is the one my folks rely on because she always makes herself available!  She’s always there, she’s always here for us.

You know what I’m talking about, be sure to also say, “…Happy Mother’s Day, Auntie!…” You know what I’m talking about, be sure to say, “…Happy Mother’s Day, Sis!…” She may not have babies of her own, but she has been a Mother-figure to us all.  Let her know because it matters to her, and because she’s made a difference in who we are.  Mom, ‘thank you,’ for making me see Her…

Childless you are not, Mother-like you are:  “Ia manuia le aso tina!”

0 thoughts on “Childless Mother, “Happy Mother’s Day!”

  1. Aww, “Happy Mother’s Day! Ia manuia le Aso Tina!” Don’t forget the women (sister/daughter/grandmother/foster parent/adopted parent/and so forth) who’ve made a difference. Appreciate our Mothers, appreciate our Mother-like figures! It isn’t too late to take them out for dinner, or to do something special for them.

    Yes, I’m guilty of my being ignorant of my Sister’s contribution. This piece is for Her, and You…

  2. aww john that was beautifully written and thought out.

    sooooooo its ok for me to get gifts on this day too yeh..since im the oldest child n all ahah..SWEEET.. 😀

    ur da bomb john.

  3. awww u know what sole, i’ve also been saying happy uncles day!! Cos guys like my boyfriend, who have no kids.. but who always seem to be with the kids… and who is the one person all the kids go running to when they’re need cheering up.. i always wish every aunty and uncle a happy mothers day!! mothering to me is raising a child. May not be ur child but u still help raise em… they deserve a box of chocolates on this day too!!

    How loving of ur mother to acknowledge and wish ur sister a happy mothers day!! what a lovely aiga

  4. For Jayfoo: if the ones you care for neglect to guy you a box of chocolates, then please do celebrate your motherly contributions by going out and buying yourself something special. like myself, in my mid-30s, i couldn’t have appreciated my older sister’s family commitment and loyalty until now, and that’s only because of my Mother’s appreciation for Her. Forgive us our delayed appreciation, but soon enough, our Heart’s eyes open…

    For Lofz: “…that’s exactly, what i’m talkin’ about…” honestly, my Mum’s appreciation for my older sister helped to see exactly how much my sister has done and continue to do for our family. my sis has either been there to represent us (not me, but the few of seven kids) in court, bail us out, family secretary, school counselor (making sure we were in school),..A LOT OF STUFF! we (me) have taken for granted.

    FOR ALL: Hope everyone had a joyful celebration for their mothers and mother-like figures alike. Next stop, “Father’s Day.”

  5. this is beautiful =) i t0tally understand where b0th y0u && y0ur sis is c0ming fr0m. it’s awes0me t0 kn0 that s0me0ne is always there f0r y0u =)

  6. Niuzila: True that! We are all brought up by a village full of Mothers! Thank you.

    Tina=): It is awesome to know that someone is always here for us, but, so sad it is when we take the Ones who love us for granted…BUT, better later to acknowledge them, than not at all! “Thank you, Mom…for your humble wisdom.”

  7. So it does pay off after years of looking after the family… I enjoyed reading this coz i can sooooo relate to it i been wiping butts since i could walk lol and have put alot of things in my life on hold for my family but its all worth it!!!!! 4real!!!

  8. Hey, memoirs_of_seki!

    In regards to ‘pay off after years of looking after the family’…well, all I can say for myself is: I love my sister more for…times long past, and I appreciate my Mother more for her “it takes a village” style of appreciation.

    Thank you for helping to take care of Us. If, God’s embrace is Universal, our Women (mothers, sisters, daughters) are central.


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