“Why Sonja is an Amazing Mom,” Lucas & Lewellen Hidden Asset 2016

I rose early yesterday, wrote, and went to the chiropractor before going to Menard’s to pick up lumber and cement. I spent the morning working with DJ, who I hired to help me, anchoring treated 6″ x 6″ posts into the ground with cement to support the pergola I’m building over our front patio. On Thursday, DJ and I will reconvene to anchor a final post with a piece I had to order, and lay cross beams. I’m grateful for his help, and also for Sonja, who doesn’t reaaaaaaaallly seem to care if we have a pergola or not, but is willing to let me do this because I want to.

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Sonja is amazing for many reasons. One of them is her willingness to be flexible when I have yet another pipe dream. But she’s equally capable of being the voice of reason. When I wanted to apply for the head coaches job in basketball this spring, she reminded me of how much time basketball takes, how stressful it can be, and that I had resigned only about 730 days ago to spend more time with my kids. But when, two days later, the head cross country job came open, she was again willing to listen, then to thoughtfully deliberate, and to discuss it with me. Ultimately, I applied and was offered the job, which I accepted. Sonja helps me with big decisions. That’s one amazing thing about her.

Another amazing thing about my wife is, fittingly on this day, what an amazing mother she is. Today, when the pergola project was put on hold for the remainder of the day, we took the kids on a walk. Titus, who hadn’t napped, wanted to push the stroller. I objected, not wanting to devote a ton of time to this seemingly inefficacious means of propelling the B.O.B. with Zooey in it. Sonja just smiled and me and say quietly “He’ll last two minutes.” And he did. He pushed it across the street, then asked to be placed in it and promptly fell asleep while we walked to and from the grocery store. Little bugger. But Sonja knew that would happen, because she knows our kids extremely well. That’s another reason she’s an incredible mom.

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When we returned home, Sonja took the kids downstairs where Titus wanted to watch Paw Patrol. Upstairs, I made dinner. While they were downstairs, she sent me the picture below. Another reason that Sonja is an amazing mom is that she makes our kids feel safe.

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When I had dinner ready, which consisted of things Sonja had requested at the grocery store because, after all, it is her weekend, I called the family upstairs. She brought Zooey first, because Titus wanted to finish watching Paw Patrol. Then she got him, and thanked him for being willing to stop watching his show while we eat. He said “You’re welcome, momma,” and it occurred to me that another thing that makes Sonja and amazing mom is that she’s doing a terrific job of teaching our kids good manners.

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We sat around our table, adorned in food and, as is our custom, asked Titus what he is thankful for. (I can’t wait until Zooey can chime in on this activity!) As usual, he named a litany of zoo animals, food, and then momma. I don’t think he ever forgets to say momma. And after that, he said “And papa… troll.” Paw Patrol. The pregnant pause after the first two syllables gave me false hope that I may be acknowledged for feeding the little twerp. Paw Patrol. Seriously? Sonja laughed and reminded him to be thankful for daddy too, which he added to his little prayer. Sonja is also an amazing mother because she always reminds the kids to be thankful for what they have.

For dinner, I made Italian sausages, charred broccoli in balsamic, and gluten free spaghetti with pesto and parmesan cheese. A simple meal, it was delightful, and paired nicely with our wine. The Lucas & Lewellen “Hidden Asset” red blend from 2016 is a very nice wine. An amalgamation of Malbec, Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Franc, it spends 16 months on French oak and was limited to just over 1,000 cases. Aromas of bright red fruits and a touch of coffee compliment the vibrant, ruby-hued liquid. On the palate, I get jammy raspberry notes with earthy undertones, wood smoke, black cherry, and more. Dry mouth-coating tannins linger, extending the length of the finish. I sipped at this wine as I cooked, but decanted most of the bottle for nearly an hour, and I strongly recommend decanting it, which smoothed it out and gave the wine greater balance. At $29, this is a really nice bottle of wine, and a good example of what a good winemaker can do with red wine in Santa Barbara County. I recommend this wine.

Another thing that makes Sonja a terrific mom, and also wife, is that she is supportive of our family in every way. My red obsession is tolerated if not fully embraced, as is my running obsession. We walk, and sometimes run together, and she’ll taste and talk about wine with me whenever I ask.

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There are a million other things that make Sonja not only a great mom, but the best mom I know. She gave birth to our two kids, and she keeps them in clothing. She washes their cloth diapers — an undertaking she wanted to do to save our family money. She listens when our kids talk to her, even when they’re talking nonsense, and she does the same for me. She is there when I can be, and more importantly, she’s there when I can’t. She takes the kids to daycare everyday, works a full-time job, tries to run over her lunch break, and is there when I arrive home with the kids to take a walk or hang out with them while I cook. She is intelligent — listening to podcasts, reading, always learning, and she is passing that on to our kids. I used to wonder if she was truly passionate about any one thing in life, but then we had Titus and Zooey, and I didn’t wonder that anymore.

Happy Mothers’ Day, to Sonja and to all of the other amazing mothers out there (including mine),

Mark

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