I was wished a Happy Mother’s Day today…that caught me by surprise! (I do not have the most important part of being a mom, a child.)
You know the saying “it takes a village to raise a child” well here in Chuuk that is exactly what happens. Everyone is called maama or paapa. I am often referred to as maama Elana (especially in school). At first I was not comfortable with this label. I told the kids I am not a mom, I do not have any kids.
I asked my mom why is everyone in a family referred to as maama or paapa when they may not be the child’s parent. She told me the students call me that out of a sign of respect, I am their mother figure while they are at school.
That is when I realized the advantage of a village raising a child. A parent may not always be with their child, but they know that their child is being taken care of by someone (who most often is a family member by some relation; aunt, uncle, cousin…).
It does not bother me as much anymore when I am called maama Elana (even though it is still a little awkward…). My view of being a teacher has change slightly in the fact that I am not just teaching someone else’s child, I teach them as if they were my own child.
I have 80+ kids that I interact with at school and I would do anything for anyone of them!
I have been blessed to have many mothers (all over the world!), but I only call one mommy. She raised me and is my best friend and I love her with all my heart! (lady you know who you are!)
Happy Mother’s Day to all the women in the world! (even if you have not given birth, you are still a mom to someone)