The recent heat spike in California has pushed our grapes to optimal ripeness and the 2010 harvest is upon us. This morning I’ll drop our fearless Bruliam winemaker off at the airport and bid adieu while she whisks away for a two week internship at Maurtison Wines. She’ll work tirelessly taking in our grapes, sorting and processing, overseeing fermentations, and managing the press. All in the interest of crafting the best wine possible for the 2010 vintage.
As for me, I’ll be getting a crash course of a different sort – as a single parent.
For the next 14 days, I’m flying solo with three kids under the age of seven. Of course, they’re in school full time and we have a glorious crew of nannies and four local grandparents, but don’t let that fool you. I will still need to do actual, hardcore parenting for the first time in many years. Making breakfasts, getting them to school, running through the after-school activities, managing homework, making dinners, and getting them to bed. It makes me long for the relative tranquility of scrubbing out a soiled T-Bin. And for the return of my wife.
Will the kids survive? Will I?
I have waking nightmares of Kerith returning in two weeks to a scene straight out of Lord of The Flies. One of our daughters (the “willful” one) will have taken command and co-opted the other two into a war of attrition against Daddy. Glorious in victory, they will spend two weeks regaled in face paint, sporting primitive weaponry, and scavenging whatever canned food they can find in the pantry. In the meantime, I will be curled up and shivering in a dark closet somewhere, having thoroughly surrendered any semblance of control to the Kindergarten set.
Either that or I will bribe them with copious amounts of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese and McDonalds to keep them in line.
But a lingering question remains. As a Mr. Mom (albeit temporary), will I gain access to that most inner sanctum of Mommydom – the morning coffee meet-up? Many clueless Dads have unknowingly wandered into our local coffee shop around 9:30am on a weekday seeking only a caffeine boost and a paper. The resulting verbal shrapnel and male exclusionism has left them beaten and ragged. Some will never be the same.
Will I earn free passage? Can my commitment to selflessly serving the demands of three young children earn me acceptance from my fellow Moms and the rightful respect and fear from those other, lesser Dads?
Probably not. But a guy can dream, can’t he?