We are heading off this weekend to go visit our older son, Luca, at college. We are really excited. It has been over two months since he left. He’s a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh now. We are going out to see him play in a tournament – he is on the Pitt Hurling Team. No, it is not what you are thinking. It is an intercollegiate sport and the national sport of Ireland. Look it up. Anyhow, it is still just hard to believe he is in college. I know everybody always says it, but it is crazy how time flies. He was three and a half years old when we started this little adventure and his brother was barely a year old. By the way, if you are gonna start a farm and learn how to be farmers and winemakers without a clue as to what you are doing, make sure you do it with two very young kids running around. It’s not challenging otherwise.
Actually, the boys were one of two main reasons we decided to start the winery. The first reason was so that Jules and I could do this together. But the very close second was so that we both could be there for the kids. I was a corporate lawyer working lots of crazy hours. Jules was already home with the kids – taking a hiatus from her law career to be a mom – but would face the prospect of going back to work eventually. Both of us remember not having our dads around very much when we were kids (though, thankfully, our moms were!). But we wanted to make sure we were there for ours. And even though, through the years, we both worked seven days a week at on the business, and we were not always in the house, they always knew we were somewhere on the farm and they could find us if they needed us. Also, selfishly, we didn’t want to miss any part of their growing up years – knowing that those days would eventually be over … way too soon.
And here we are, fifteen years later Luca is in college and Jake is on his way soon – and we didn’t miss any of it. We got to make them lunches every morning before school and, most of the time, all of us were home for dinner. They both worked on the farm and in the Enoteca from very early ages, right there next to us. We got to go to all the soccer games, lacrosse games, concerts, plays, musicals, marching band competitions….alright, maybe we could have missed out on some of the marching band competitions…but we got to see it all.
Half of me always wonders what kind of stories the boys will tell their therapists about growing up on a winery. And the other half of me hopes that – as they travel the world, live their lives and be their own people – this will be a cool place to come back home to.
If it is any indication, after being away for his first year in college, Luca did come back home and spent the summer working with us in the vineyard. And, as far as we know, he doesn’t have a therapist. Yet. But there seem to be early indications that he might want to become one. So, I guess, so far, so good…