It’s not that I only think about this one week-end a year. I, as I’m sure many of you, frequently think about what is the most important responsibility of parenting. One of the obvious goals is to teach our kids to be good citizens. We want our kids to be kind to other people and to contribute in some positive way to society in a way that makes them happy. But I don’t think that that is the most important job of being a mother.
Hand versus land is the wine equivalent to nature versus nurture. Some wine makers produce their wine through practices such as adding tannins or acids or chaptalizing the wine to increase the alcohol. Some grape growers take a ‘hands off’ approach to the wine. They harvest, press and bottle the wine, but do very little else to alter how the wine will taste. Great wines can be made in both scenarios. But imagine a wine maker growing a delicate grape like Pinot Noir, then being dissatisfied with the lower tannins and the red fruit aromas and using additives to give the wine denser tannins and aromas of blackberry and currant to make it more like a Cabernet Sauvignon, all the while missing the nuanced complexity that the Pinot Noir has to offer. Imagine a winemaker mistaking the soaring acidity of a great Riesling for a fault, and diluting the wine to soften its crispness.
That I think is the most important job of parenting; not just to raise our kids to be good citizens, but to let them see their best qualities and give them the confidence to embrace who they are.