As my children become older, they are much more needy than I believed them to be as infants or tiny tots. It is in their fives and their sevens where I feel like I need to be with them more to shelter them from bad words or bad thoughts or mean sayings. Maybe it is I who is more needy as I constantly beg my husband to let me stay home from work so I can take Cynthia to swim practice or help Stephen tattoo his entire body. I have even found I would rather ride bikes with them around the neighborhood versus try a wine from an unknown producer.
Stephen and Cynthia seem to realize my desire to be with them, and rather than embrace it immediately, they try to shield themselves from my over-involvement. When someone tells Cynthia they saw her picture on facebook, she looks at me and says, “Really, Mom? Really?”
“Really, honey, really, I love you so much I want everyone in the Facebook universe to know how special you are to me.”
As I say it, I realize how ridiculous I sound.
The other night when Stephen and I were home together, I told him he was my best friend. He looked at me very seriously and said, “You’re not my friend, Mom.”
As my heart started to break into a million pieces, he defiantly said, “You’re my mom, and that is better than a friend.”
That made my heart break in a different way, and as I put him to sleep that night, I started thinking about all that has happened in the past year.
Wine seems to be fading, and other obligations seem to be taking precedence. Obligations may not be the right word. Maybe I should say adventures instead of obligations. An adventure with my family seems a lot more exciting to me than an adventure along the wine route.
Tonight I mistakenly put a bottle of Moccagatta Barbaresco in an ice bucket. I should have chilled the Moccagatta Chardonnay, but I wasn’t paying attention, and when the bottle was opened at the table, the guests were shocked with a red film in their glass instead of the white wine they were anticipating.
Finding the bright side of the mishap, I am now tasting the 2007 Bric Balin that normally would not be open on a random Thursday night in July. I will say it tastes absolutely delicious, and it takes me back to the days of 2000 when our Windows wine crew would take the 7 train to Queens and raid the wine list at Manducati’s in Long Island City.
Barolo and Barbaresco flooded the wine list from older vintages back to the 1950’s priced at next to nothing. A group of six of us would go to eat red sauce Italian and drink like kings. Back then, it was an undiscovered treasure chest. Now, I am told, the wine list does not have as much depth, as they continually were depleted over the years.
My head jerks back to reality as I realize old wines are not the only things that eventually diminish over time. Adventures with young children will not always be abundant. Next summer, Cynthia may decide she would much rather spend a night with a friend instead of get in bed with me. Stephen may tell me he doesn’t need for me to kiss him every waking moment. They both may make up their minds that I am just not as cool as they thought I once was.
I know each moment spent with my children is a blessing, and I am forever blessed because of their love. It is a beautiful thing when one realizes that relationships are more important than material possessions. In tonight’s case, I am realizing that time spent with my family is more rewarding than drinking all of the Barbaresco in the world.