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!”