OK, I’ll admit–this post isn’t about anything profound or relevant to anybody other than myself, but I just thought I’d share it because it’s all I can really think about.
Today is my first day home after almost three months of being away at college, and it feels great. My parents cleaned up my room and made it all homey (that must’ve taken quite a while, since I remember all too clearly the state in which I left it), my dad renovated my bathroom, and there was, of course, food in the fridge just waiting to be consumed.
Now, I’m sure my classmates from outside the Tribe had similarly welcoming homes to return to, but I really feel like I should give extra thanks to God for granting me a Jewish mother. Maybe it’s just because I’ve never known anything different, but I really do feel like her Jewishness is part of the reason she’s such a great mom. She always worries and calls me way too much (and I don’t admit that I’m secretly glad she’s always calling), she’s a wonderful cook, and she’s the only person in the world who can make me feel like a kid again (and not just by giving me a curfew).
After a long period of scientifically sound and statistically accurate research (and by that I mean, talking briefly to some friends), I have determined that my non-Jewish friends’ moms aren’t nearly so…well, motherly. None of them stay up until their children get home at night, and they definitely don’t clean up their rooms for them. (Though my boyfriend’s mom did essentially gut his room and turn it into a guest room, but that’s a decidedly different matter.)
There’s definitely a stereotype out there that says that Jewish moms are more attentive and prone to worrying than non-Jewish moms, but I’m starting to think that this is more the product of tradition than actual religious or cultural heritage. There’s certainly no 11th Commandment dictating that mothers freak out when their 27-year-old sons haven’t called for a few days (ahem…NOT that this happened with my older brother or anything…).
Most likely, my mom is the way she is because her mom was that way, and her mom’s mom was that way, and so on and so forth–which probably means that I’m going to be that way too.
If you asked my mom, she’d probably say it’s both a curse and a blessing, but when I come home to a bowl of chicken soup, I’m strongly tempted to say that it’s the latter.