Bubbly for baby?

08Dec08

Bubbly ciderToday I was listening to an interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air” with Wall Street Journal “Tastings” columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, a husband-and-wife team of oenophiles.

It was interesting listening, especially for a gal who loves — make that used to love — her wine.

As the story turned to a discussion of holiday bubbly, the couple related how they had smuggled into the maternity ward a rare bottle of champagne to celebrate the birth of their much-awaited firstborn child. Upon their daughter’s arrival into the world, they touched a few drops of the bubbly to her lips. (Apparently, it’s a much-followed tradition in France.)

I had mixed emotions upon hearing this. I thought it a poignant gesture, reflecting this lifelong passion of the child’s parents, and perhaps symbolizing their hopes for her – for a life of sweet and wonderful experiences.

But I also found myself thinking — what if this had been a child of alcoholics? What sort of life was this moment setting her up for? Would those first symbolic drops upon her lips stay with her forever, becoming something she longed for, making it ever more difficult to avoid and do without as an adult?

From what I gathered, her parents aren’t alcoholics and seem to have a healthy attitude about drinking, so I’m sure she’ll be fine. The story did make me think, though, about my own daughters, and hope that they’ll be able to toast their own celebratory moments with a bit of the bubbly.

But only a bit.

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