Saturday night my husband and I went out on a double date, my parents came over to watch William. I was getting ready while William played with my parents. I walked out of the bathroom, ready to go. Hair and makeup were done (which I rarely do either), cute dress on, low heel because lack of sleep makes me too clumsy for a heel over 2 inches. I walked out of the bathroom and in to the living room to say goodbye to William and he turns around and lights up. He just stared at me with awe and then walked over to touch my hair and my face. He just kept smiling and touching and looking over at my parent’s then back at me.
At dinner I told this story to the couple we were out with and it dawned on me that my husband gave me a similar reaction once over 8 years together and that was at our wedding.
My son makes me feel so loved and so beautiful. He looks at the wedding pictures hanging on the wall and yells Mama and Dada at them at top volume. The fact that he can recognize that the woman there with professional hair and makeup done wearing a beautiful gown is his mother surprises me. Often I look at those pictures and wonder where that person went. The answer is that after 2 years of sleepless nights and all of the parenting stress I look like hell. William usually sees me in pjs or briefly in whatever I wear to work that day so for him to see the picture and yell Mama makes me smile. He recently discovered the butterfly tattoo I have on my ankle that I was looking into getting removed. He kisses it, then points and yells “fly!” with a big smile one his face. We watch videos of him I took via SnapChat when he was younger every night before bed, he’ll grab my phone and yell, “baby!” and we’ll watch baby William while snuggling. When I ask him who loves you? Who do you love? Who is your best friend? He yells Mama in response to every question. This little curly headed boy needs me to kiss his booboo, snuggle him when he is tired or sick or upset, and give him my love. My husband loves William too, in his own playful way, but nurturing is foreign to him. He didn’t grow up with parents that nurtured him, so now he’s learning (very slowly) how to nurture.
Now I’m not saying William doesn’t ever annoy me or misbehave. He’s turning 2 soon, he’s frequently a little naughty and sometimes very naughty. Right now he is becoming less and less of a baby and more of a little man and I absolutely adore him. He says Elmo instead of Melmo and knows his colors. He has opinions about if he wants milk or juice, waffles or French toast. I know I am raising a little man that will one day be an adult out in the dating world, someday he may even get married. I hope he looks at his spouse and makes them feel as loved as he makes me feel now. I hope the love they feel for him is as consuming as the love I feel for him.
Tonight I give advice to people who don’t like dry reds yet but want to start drinking them.
1. Figure out if it’s the sugar you like or the fruit. Are you drinking red cat? If you answered no, I’m here to help. If you answered yes, go to your room and think about what you’ve done.
2. Figure out what it is about the dry red wine that you don’t like. Don’t like how it dries out your mouth? That’s the tannins. Figure out what flavors you don’t like. Tobacco, mushrooms, leather, pepper. These are flavors you’ll get in bold very dry wines. Don’t start there.
3. Start with a blend. Blends are a nice way to get into drier wines because they use fruit forward wines like Zinfandel. If it says “Meritage” on it you should give it a try, but don’t shy away from a blend without the label either.
4. Learn your wines. If you’re new to reds you’ll want to start with mild, fruit forward wines that are low in tannins. Zinfandel is going to be your friend and Syrah is a good one to try if you find the Zin a little too fruity.
Cheap red blends to try as a red wine novice.
1. Menage a trois- it’s a Californian blend that most people can drink no matter where they fall on the wine spectrum. I highly recommend this wine to start with, it’s about $10 a bottle and easy to drink.
2. Lakewood Long Stem Red- This local Upstate NY winery is a personal favorite of mine and this is a great wine for beginners. If you pop in to the winery for a tasting I recommend trying to get Tracy as your pourer, he makes the tasting an experience to remember.
3. Apothic Red- another red blend with a zinfandel. My father has tried to serve this at every birthday dinner. It’s so zinfandel heavy that I can’t drink it but I’m a bit prissy with my wines.
4. 19 Crimes- this is an Australian blend that has recently become popular for good reason. Inexpensive wines with historical facts about the person on the label, they even have an app for apple and android users.
5. Sterling Meritage- Californian red again. This is the wine I used to transition my husband from sweet red and whites to a more sophisticated palate. Now he’s become more of a wine snob than me and we credit this meritage for it.