Sisterly bond, motherly strength

Published 11:01 pm Friday, May 11, 2012

Multicolored flowers, clear skies and nice weather are all descriptors for the month of May. The fifth month of the Gregorian calendar and named after the goddess Maia, the month of May is a special month namely for two reasons: it’s my birthday and my sister Aston’s (my left kidney) birthday. Yes, it’s true. We were born in the same month — just a little more than a week apart. That’s 355 days to be exact.

At times polar opposites — she the extrovert, make-friends-with-every-stranger and me, the “introvert/extrovert” who makes friends more easily with those I connect with on a personal level, my sister and me still seem to get along very well.

But our personal ties and commonalities are not what I want to get into right now. I want to talk about what she’s good at: being a mom.

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Aston Elam Taylor was born on May 8, 1986. Named after my father John Austin, my sister hit the “terrible two” stage before she actually was two — getting into everything, asking questions that were reserved for adults and being, as my mom would call it, “el destructo” (or momspeak for “Lord, help me with this little girl before I take her down by the lake.”) I was there when Aston got a screw stuck in her nose (don’t ask me how it got there). I was the one to motivate her, telling her that she COULD blow it out, when she would rather breathe in, instead. Wow, crazy times! Overall, I believe Aston was the child after my dad’s own heart — gregarious, Ms. Know-it-all and little miss independent.

Aston had her first child in high school. One could imagine the mock and scorn that comes from being a 17-year-old pregnant student in Selma. Sure, being a teen mom is the popular thing now, but back then, it was nothing to get a personal badge of honor about.

My sister worked through the struggle of being a single parent by attending classes at Concordia College and at times, working two to three jobs, just to support her son. Diapers and mommy time don’t come cheap you know. Through it all — the tears, the long nights of studying and the moments of loneliness, she’s a survivor.

Now as a divorcee, my sister is raising three children on her own. I’m sure it gets hard sometimes — from going without to make sure her “littles” are comfortable, to having to take time off work to care for her eldest — I commend Aston for choosing to be there for her children when so many moms turn their backs.

I love my sister for being my ace boon coon and the one I can go to with anything — embarrassing or not. I love that we are extremely close, and have become so as we’ve grown older.

Happy Mother’s Day to Aston and all the moms, especially single, who do what they need to do to make a child’s life better each and every day.