Growing up, children are often oblivious to the painstaking efforts their parents take in giving them a life worth living. Yes, it is no extraordinary phenomenon, since it is they who have brought the said child into the world. Taking care of our needs lies on their shoulders. At least until a certain age. But something we fail to see, even as we become adults, is how parents sometimes bite off more than they can afford, to ensure we’re able individuals. Offering a child food, shelter, education and comfort is one thing. Offering them these necessities despite an absence of resources is love and sacrifice that eludes measurement.
Emphasising upon this sentiment, a Twitter user recently shared an empowering story of how she managed to pay off all the loans her mother had taken for her education. Kavindya Thennakoon, from Stanford University, wrote, “Amma had to take a hella lot of loans to put me through school and to make it by. 12 years later, last night I paid it all off. For the first time in our lifetime we’re debt free… Here’s to resilient women who fought alone and ferociously.” Thennakoon’s story has gone viral with many applauding both women for their respective efforts.
See her post below:
Amma had to take a hella lot of loans to put me through school and to make it by. 12 years later, last night I paid it all off. For the first time in our lifetime we're debt free ❤️ Here's to resilient women who fought alone and ferociously. pic.twitter.com/cPoAhkihBI
— Kavindya Thennakoon (@kavindya_T) January 5, 2021
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The Need To Value Single Mothers
In India, a single mother raising a girl child still manages to raise eyebrows. The stigma attached runs deep on many levels. First, that a woman deems herself capable and resilient enough to face the odds of life without a man. And second, in doing so, she is setting a young lady who is a reflection of herself upon the path of successful education. What else can one expect, when the entire concept of single parenting – regardless of gender – is still largely taboo?
Every kind of family set-up – a typical heterogeneous father-mother couple, same-sex parents, unmarried parents – the responsibility to care for an offspring is high, and is worthy of being valued as such. But perhaps the process of parenting goes up a notch when it is a single parent – and a mother at that. Because the efforts of raising a child are single-sourced. Despite the barriers of their gender, despite salacious talk surrounding them.
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Children And Parents: A Relationship Of Mutual Efforts
In such situations, the child, when they grow up, can become one of the strongest pillars of support for the parent. As Thennakoon’s story has shown the internet, a parent-to-child relationship, and a woman-to-woman bond transcend economics. Which is not to glorify unaffordable education, since education is a birthright. But what prompts a child to rid their parents of troubles in their aging years is pure, utter, unconditional love.
It may not always be possible to put a price on our parents’ upbringing of us or make cash repayments to them for all they spent to afford the best for us. Because love, as they say, is priceless. Can equipment to measure it ever exist? Perhaps not. How we can reward them then is by letting them know their sacrifices haven’t gone ignored. That we are grateful for them. That we stand as strongly behind them as they do behind us in life.
Views expressed are the author’s own.