Ho‘okipa : A Mother’s Love

She was dog tired.  Worked nine hours, picked up Jen and Liz from day care, stopped by the grocery store, got home and made dinner, cleaned up and gave the kids a bath.  The kids weren’t ready for bed so she read a little Dr. Suess to them. 

She heard the words coming from her mouth, but her mind began to drift.  Three years since she divorced Dan and with most of her family five hours away, she felt so alone.  Kate asked her three times a week to stop for a drink after work.  It would have been easier to plan the Battle of Normandy.  Day care closed at six.  She usually got there at five after.  Jen wiggled, was she supposed to stop at the bank today?  Was Liz’s appointment with the behavioral psychologist Tuesday or Wednesday?  Did she miss sending Mom a birthday card?

The girls began to nod off.  Half an hour later she had them in bed.  It was ten-thirty.  She needed to start looking on the Internet for another apartment and she should have paid the bills two days ago.  But her head was pounding, and her ankles began to resemble a flotation device.  The stuff that she needed to do to live, would have to wait till tomorrow.  A couple of Motrins and she fell asleep.  Five and a half hours and she would be up doing it all over again.  Except that in two hours Jen’s screams would wake her up. 

Jen’s fever was one-hundred and three.  She bundled the kids up and went to the closest Urgent Care.  By the time they got back home it was four in the morning.  Jen couldn’t go to day care and she didn’t have any more sick days.  Thoughts of "why me God?" tried to creep into her head.  But she refused to let them in.

It was all about Jen and Liz.  Her girls were going to college and they’d get married and have babies and have a life.

A mother’s love is the essence of Ho’okipa…a gentle reminder to those bosses out there who employ working moms. 


Our Guest Author is Dave Rothacker, author of Rothacker Reviews and RadioBack, and he is one of the best storytellers I know. Dave has had mothers on his mind recently, and I must point you to two essays he recently wrote on his blog that will then fully explain his definition here for Ho’okipa:

First read Mothers, and then read A Mother’s Aura. Then, give your mom a call, say mahalo, and tell her you love her.


  1. says

    The early days of motherhood is the hands on stuff. Fevers, trips to the doctor,
    boo boos healed with kisses, name calling by other children….
    Even when the magic year of 18 hits,
    motherhood does not end…. it changes.
    Thanks Dave for the excellent remdiner that… A mother’s love is the essence of Ho’okipa. Coming from a DAD person,
    this means a great deal.