THE SAMOAN MOTHER: The Teacher/Parent Interview

“Ain’t no one like me!” – Scribe, 2003

Something happened to me – well, actually not directly TO me but I was told about it and it affected my state of wellbeing so I can say that it happened to me.

So here’s the deal:  I attended my 12yo son’s Parent/Teacher Interviews this week.  It was conducted as a series of 5-minute discussions with each of my son’s teachers.  So that meant SEVEN interviews in ONE hour.  Imagine a school hall with 50 or so teachers sitting behind desks (grid style) and parents scrambling their way among the aisles trying to get to their next interview.  And to make it worse, it was 29 degrees that day – eeek!

The interviews were going well and there was a common theme running throughout the hour regarding my boy: “Jeramyah is such a lovely young man in class… is an honour to teach him…..he is such a responsible student…” etc.   Just to take a break from all this gushing, I should note here that my son is no whizz-kid-genius. He is actually an average (if not, just below) learner.  He has to work his butt off just to keep above water.

However, my son is a very meek and humble young man – ask anyone who knows him.  As the eldest in our little family, he is responsible for locking up the house before bedtime, making his little 4yo brother’s breakfast everyday, overseeing kitchen duties, sorting out household rubbish and taking out the bins  etc.  Through him, I see the enormous responsibilities that impact Samoan children who are the firstborn.   And I have huge faith in my son to remain humble and responsible as he grows into a young man.  So far, so good.

But here’s what’s gonna kill my plan – GIRLS

When I met with my son’s Science Teachers, they said all the things I wanted to hear until one of them said with a conspiratorial smile: “Oh and Jeramyah has a few admirers in the class and it so cute watching these girls sneak looks at him”  SAY WAAAT?

You should’ve seen my face.

It was the kind of face your Samoan mother would give you when the faifeau comes over for a visit and you bring his ipu ki without wearing an ie lava lava.

Yep you know the look.  After I received that tidbit of information I could only manage a fake half-smile and trust me, if I was holding a pen it would’ve snapped in my hand.

Coming down my psycho cloud I realised that my son is nearing the ‘relationships’ age.  I understand that he will one day have a girlfriend and then a w..w..wi….wife (sorry couldn’t get that word out for some reason).  And no, it’s not his fault that the girls at school crush on him (yes it is) and I can’t control these things (yes I can) and I don’t want to drive my son away from me (he ain’t goin’ nowhere!).

But times have changed.   Samoan kids these days have a better relationship with their parents than their counterparts 20 years ago.  Even though he is only 12, I am now adding ‘relationships’ to my list of things regarding my journey as a mother.  I am happy to relay any information they need when it comes to questions regarding the boy/girl ‘thing’  (“Dat stupid fing” – as my mum used to call it lol).   BUT I hope my aussie-raised children can understand the rules that we impose on them regarding this.   Ahhh the beauties of having Samoan parents…..

The challenge is to remain true to what my husband and I agree on when it comes to raising our kids.  Making sure that the rules we set are our own and not someone elses.

So yesterday I said to my baby boy:  “Son, you are not allowed to have a girlfriend until you’re 18”

I lied.  He’s not allowed to have a girlfriend until he’s 30 but he can find that out later………..

Ia manuia xx


8 thoughts on “THE SAMOAN MOTHER: The Teacher/Parent Interview

  1. Hahahahahaha! Favourite bit: ‘And no, it’s not his fault that the girls at school crush on him (yes it is) and I can’t control these things (yes I can) and I don’t want to drive my son away from me (he ain’t goin’ nowhere!).”

    Brilliant post.

  2. Loving the posts sis – brings back some funny memories.. Like you said, take Osty but leave Myah – he is such a talented,humble young teenager. Good luck to your future daughter in law lol

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