In the room across from my office, her nursery, I can hear my impish little daughter calling out cheerfully “wah-wah-wah!” as the light has clearly woken her. I suspect every father in the world feels the way I do about his daughter. While Titus falling and banging a knee will elicit from me something like “Get up, buddy, you’re fine,” the same act from little Zooey will cause me to fly across the room and collapse at her side to inspect for damage, only to be greeted by her gummy smile and twinkling eyes, assuring me all is well. Perhaps it isn’t fair, but this is nevertheless the way things are. The idea of Zooey in pain is unthinkable to me. Fatherhood will surely be a test.
Years ago, a friend gave me some great advice about parenting. Himself the father of two wonderful kids, he told me: “You’ve never met a healthy adult that can’t go to the bathroom by themselves or walk or speak in full sentences. Everyone figures it out. Don’t worry about when they do it. Just be there to be supportive.” I love that. It took all the pressure off, and as I watch other parents checking their watches to see if their kids were on pace with statistics, I just sit back and smile and enjoy watching my kids grow. The neighbor girl across the street is a month younger than Zooey and walks very well, while Zooey still needs the help of a coffee table or sofa to stand — and I’m not worried about it one bit. She’ll walk soon, when she’s ready. There is one thing that little Zo-Zo does, however, that I think puts her ahead of the developmental curve.
A while back, we taught Titus to say “Cheers” and clink his cup against ours. He loves doing it, and soon Zooey started to imitate her big brother. “Cheh!” she’ll say, often smacking her bright orange sippy cup against your wine glass so hard you worry it may break. She’s so enthusiastic about it, and it brings us joy. Who cares if she can walk? I’m calling Toast Masters!
What little Zooey is clinking her sippy cup against in the picture is Sonja’s glass of Maysara Sparkling Rose’ of Pinot Noir, N.V., a terrific new discovery that will be available in Nebraska beginning in July. It has delicate bubbles and beautiful strawberry hue that you can see in the pictures. On the palate, what stands out to me is the distinctness of the varietal, and even the terroir of the Momtazi Vineyards from whence the fruit hails, which I have been so fortunate as to become well acquainted with in recent months. Refreshing yet undeniably flavorful and unique, this is a really cool wine, and one I strongly recommend. In fact it was so good that, and this is not hyperbole on my part, I called Naseem Momtazi just to tell her how exciting I thought the wine was. (I may have interrupted a meeting. Sorry Naseem!)
Little Zooey keeps calling out from her crib. “Eh? Ehhhhh? Wah-wah-wah!” It’s time for me to go get her. I don’t know at what age, precisely, children are supposed to learn to clink their glass against another and say “cheh,” but I’m sure proud of my little girl.
Cheers to… well, cheers to cheers!