Thursday, September 17, 2009

Do You Wine?

We do. Quite a bit.

When my youngest son was in kindergarten, his class celebrated the 100th day of school. His homework for the celebration was to create something from 100 items we had around the house. I cast around for possible items: pieces of pasta, toothpicks, squares of toilet paper, nails, dust bunnies . . . it all seemed so usual, so I've-seen-it-before. Then I found the giant bag of corks. I have been saving them for some vague idea of a future craft project, possibly involving building furniture or an addition to the house. Seriously, I had a lot of corks. My son and I counted out 100 of them and it didn't even make a dent. Yes, I know you can now recycle natural cork at Whole Foods so stop it.

I gave him the corks and a hot glue gun and he went nuts. I still have the project he made.

He proudly carried it in to school, and only as I watched his backside round the corner, did I think about the fact that it just might not be a good idea to send your child to school with such a blatant example of your affinity for wine. Oh shit too late now.

Later that day the phone call came. "Umm, NICE project your son did for 100th day!" the Head of the Lower School said. I was horrified. I didn't even know her, she didn't know me, and now she has pegged me as an alcoholic mother. Oh great.

It turns out that the Head of the Lower School drinks her share of wine too and she actually thought it was funny that my son used corks. Whew.

Fast forward to 4th grade. We are at Back to School Night for the same son. The night has gone smoothly, we have met all the teachers, they are all fabulous, it's an idyllic place, the weather is warm. My husband and I are waiting outside the last classroom of the night, science, chatting with other parents. Suddenly the science teacher appears, heading straight for my husband and his name tag. "Oh you are R's dad! I have to tell you a funny story!"

Both my husband and I wince, our shoulders tense, and we look at each other with a smile/grimace that means, "Here we go again." We have heard many funny stories about our youngest son, not all of them funny, certainly all of them utterly unpredictable.

So in fourth grade this year, my son will be studying the oak woodland environment, in which the school is located. In class they were discussing oak trees and the many uses they have. Climbing, building, wine barrels. Apparently my son then informed the science teacher "some chardonnays are aged in stainless steel, not all of them are aged in oak." Or something to that effect. She thought it was quite funny and unusual. Thank goodness she wasn't around when my son was in kindergarten. She is definitely smart enough to make some kind of connection there.

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