I am such a mom. I had just typed this sentence as the opening to this post when one of my Chaucerians texted me the exact same phrase. Let me explain.
It's our final weekend here at Yale. We have three class meetings (and movie night) next week, but then we disperse back to North Carolina and California (times 2) and Tennessee and Missouri. (It seems so weird to type that and not Georgia.) So this weekend is crammed full of traveling. Yesterday was NYC for marathon museums; today is Waterford, CT for beach bumming; tomorrow is Boston for Freedom Trail and a game at Fenway Park. Because I like to organize, I have helped plan the transportation elements of these trips. (Not only does this indicate that I'm domestic, it also identifies that I'm finally a local. I can read the timetables!) This organization element is highly characteristic of who I am, ingrained in me like a pace-maker. I embrace it because it brings me comfort. This quirk has been good for me and my son, even if it irritates others, because it enhances my single-mommy gig down to a well-oiled machine. What unnerves me a bit is that in absence of my son, I have taken to being a mom with my Chaucerians.
I've been concerned about packing since Monday. I took inventory to make sure everyone had a bag that would easily hold their beach stuff without taking up too much room on the train. (And I even suggested that, if needed, we could put all of our stuff in one of my suitcases.) I fussed over how we transport beer to the beach and even considered buying a cooler that we could pull like luggage for the trip. (How in the hell would I get a cooler back to Missouri? But that wasn't the concern. Immediate ease of my local family was the concern.)
In addition to checking on buses and food for the weekend jaunts, I have also provided weekend weather updates. I just texted my Chaucerians that "it will be jacket worthy tonight." Seriously, these people are grown men and women. They do not need me telling them to bring a jacket to the beach. But I suggested it anyway because this is what moms do.
The phrase "such a mom" is as vague in its definition as is "motherhood," yet we say it to people, usually out of fondness and appreciation, who behave like moms. I wonder if Melibee ever thought to say this to Prudence? Because, in my opinion, Prudence is the only character from the tales thus far that I would describe as "such a mom." Her daughter is wounded by her husband's enemies. The husband, Melibee, wants to exact gruesome revenge and wage wars over the act. Prudence, although distraught over her daughter's attack, just wants it all to end. Why wage wars indefinitely when we can work on acceptance and healing instead? (I am not saying I would be this strong or logical if something happened to my son; I merely see the wisdom in handling crisis the way Prudence encourages Melibee to handle it. Life is, after all, about trying to make each day better than the last. You can't do that if you're blinded by grief and anger and waging wars like a mad man.) Prudence is such a mom.
And so am I. I hope my Chaucerians don't mind.