Grape Expectations

(pic mine words *sigh*able)

SonHerisme wanted to plant a grape vine starter because he believes he wants to be a part-time sommelier when he grows up. There is an aroma box on his Amazon wish list. A few years ago I took SonHerisme to see one of his older cousins perform in a teen production of The Tempest. He was captivated by the silly behavior of the drunk characters and wanted to know why “drunk” meant silly.

Diving into the explanation of “drunk,” led to explaining why mommy takes an occasional glass of wine, led to him googling on his own “what happens when you get drunk.” btw – Even with heavy duty parent filters, and sweet young bears following google search instructions learned at their sweet Montessori “explore information with your tools and resources to find your answers,” thumbnails of very sketchy things pop up on green squishy handled industrial kid cased iPads. Thank you stupid Internet for introducing my child into the world of boobs, butts, and pelvic regions being used in drunk situations on random Spring break beaches. Internet searches at school are so locked down, because they only allow access to sites that the school system tech wizards have curated, rather than how our parental controls work, which filter out access by algorithms.

It never occurred to me that thumbnails would still pop up.

It never occurred to me that my sweet baby would innocently research being drunk.

Ugh. He got scared when he saw the thumbnails and came to tell me because he couldn’t get the thumbnails to stop popping up. I did the best I could to leave shame somewhere else since I do not want him to feel like he has to hide his curiosities from me or give him the impression that drinking, bodies, etc are shameful.

I have always had the rule that I check SonHerisme’s devices and am in charge of them. As he gets older, I know he is programmed to keep things from me (and in a lot of ways – thank G-d), but it seems like, so far, he is comfortable sharing and knows that I am checking his devices. Secrets belong in a journal marked in a way that I know I am not to read them. Secrets do not belong on electronics until you are over 21. That’s this mommy’s rule at least.

Since he was very young and we started talking about consent etc, I have inserted into the conversations about how as your body changes, so does your brain. Your brain remains mushy until your body is all finished growing and changing. Girl brains tend to start solidifying around age 21 and boys about 24. There will be growing times when you will feel like your brain is solid and absolutely knows everything. This is a lie your brain is telling you because it doesn’t want you to know that you still need support and have growing to do. Yeah, SonHerisme will need therapy. I am a solo single parent. Please have mercy on your judgement of me.

SonHerisme’s fascination with wine has been burbling since The Tempest, is my point. Sometime during these COVID homeschool times, he watched part of a program about wine with me after asking me more questions about wine, winemaking, etc. I am somewhat less than a novice about wine so I turned to the program to give him a glimpse of what some winemakers do. This particular show had the headlamp wearing grape pickers gently picking grapes in the cold pre-dawn. Like magical fairy lights dancing through the dense black vineyard just before the fog began to lift as the sun peeked over the horizon. SonHerisme declared he was going to start his own vineyard on the side of our rocky east-facing hill. Y’all, he checked how many hours the sun hits that side of the hill on a summer day so that he could get ready for planting. For $7.99 he bought himself a little grapevine starter. It’s so sweet. He has grape expectations for that little thing. I hope it works out for him.

Grow little tiny thing, grow!

We also have grape expectations about our new project: building an outdoor sofa for the deck. As we were driving home with our lumber and supplies, SonHerisme was shocked when I answered one of his questions about the process by suggesting we consult the building plans. I almost burst into tears because that sweet sweet bear thought that I was making my own plans – to build an outdoor sofa – to measure the things and cut the things – having never ever done a project on this scale before. In his brain as my giant tweenager almost teenager, it truly never crossed his mind that I might need something like plans to pull together a 6ft solid deck sofa.

It was one of those sweet moments when the weight of his belief in who I am, really hit me. For him, it was a defining moment of reality that mommy is at least a bit of just a human person and not all magic – a part of growing up. A chink in the innocence of being a tiny bear, making room for the most amazing big bear. I wish for it to be as painless as possible while still providing enough challenge for healthy growth. May the force be with you, and also with you. This is the way. I have spoken.

I suppose that is what Springtime brings – grape expectations.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

4 thoughts on “Grape Expectations

  1. This reminds me that as a 13 year old, steeped in Tolkien (back when that was just a bookish thing, and the images in my head were mine, not Peter Jackson’s) I decided I wanted to make mead. So with the benign neglect of my parents, and relying on my native wisdom, I winged (wung?) it. Nothing I needed–the proper yeast, equipment, even recipes–were available to me in this yet-to-be-revived town. For yeast, I settled on “Fleischmann’s”–perhaps you’ve heard of it? For the brewing vessel, I used a (clean) plastic trashcan covered with the finest cheesecloth.

    After the bubbling stopped, I bottled it and had a taste.

    Not good at all, but maybe desert-island or prison-adjacent passable. I did enjoy the process and the knowledge it brought me.

    And I never had a desire to try mead again. I don’t even really like honey.

    Liked by 1 person

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