Get A Job
"Mom, you should get a job," counseled my son from the back of the minivan. What?? I nearly swerve off of the road. Must I actually endure career advice from a 5 year old, one whose most passionate vocational aspiration entails a hand drawn, homemade book titled What do People Do All Day at the Landfill?
My son peered at me from atop his Auto Trader magazine. "You know," he continued, "while the girls are at school." He was serious; I was stupefied.
Besotted with equal bits curiosity and amusement, I had to encourage him. "So what kind of job could I have?"
Without a beat, he posited, "You could work at Costco." It's not like we couldn't use the employee discount. Maybe he had a point...
"Well isn't taking care of you and your sisters and cooking and cleaning enough work?" I mused. (Stop laughing. I do clean- on occasion).
"No," he insisted. "You should drive the miniloader and stack up palates of water."
"Well what about working on our wine company? Isn't that a job?"
And there it is: the crux of my personal, existential dilemma, exposed by a child who aspires to see his mom behind the wheel of a heavy duty construction vehicle. I am no longer practicing medicine but am too terrified to return to pathology. Each day is idled away with the hour long aliquots toddler ballet, gym, swim, and art classes. On the side, I drink and taste and cook on your behalf, sumptuous calories consumed for the good love our beloved Bruliam Brigade, due diligence indeed. Of course all this begs the question, "really, is this a job?"
Obviously, Brian and I love wine. And food and wine. And eating and wine. But unless you're contracted by some magazine or newspaper to review the local restaurant scene, there isn't much of a "job" in what I do. For one, there's no health insurance, benefits, or 401K. Heck there isn't even a salary, since we're entirely not-for-profit anyway. Plus, what happens when you're commandeered by your kid's preschool teachers to volunteer in class and "talk about your job?"
Some weeks back, my son's curriculum included a "Be All You Can Be" unit highlighting different jobs in our community. All parents were encouraged to come to class and explain what it is that they do. Giddy with anticipation, our son, of course, rushed to sign us up. "Daddy can come in and talk about being a company," he gushed, excited and gesticulating wildly.
"What can I do?" I asked him.
"Talk about cooking," he solemnly replied.
To be fair, his teachers did ask me to chat up my culinary school experience and discuss what it means to be a "chef" (their generous title, not mine). But what if I had headlined as "winemaker" instead? Given the daily prominence of wine at our table (and our girls' moniker "daddy's special water"), I suspect our iterations as "wine people" is integrating naturally into our kids' consciousness.
Still, I fear the day when my child's classmate responds to mom's requisite query of "how was school today, honey?" with their own half-truthed interpretation of Bruliam LLC. "Bruno's mommy taught us how to distill grain alcohol in the backyard- without going blind. Don't worry, mom. The explosion isn't that loud." How the heck do I spin that?
Terenzi "Colle Forma" Cesanese del Piglio (2003)
More on this unusual varietal next week. (And no I hadn't heard of it either until I got to the restaurant).