While my youngest child has been waiting patiently for his cocktail and to read what I have to say about him, my oldest and middle children are waiting to pounce, so I will be treading very carefully. Since youngest children never have their position taken away from them by a newborn baby, they tend to remain in that “baby” role for most of their lives. Nods of approval from the oldest and middle. They often have lesser expectations placed on them because by the time they come along, parents tend to be a lot more relaxed. In many ways they seem less ambitious that their older siblings, but it’s often more the case that their goals tend to be somewhat different, not the energy put into realizing them. Youngests often feel shortchanged in the intelligence department, and even though there is no data to support that, it tends to make them focus on other interests like music, theater, or even athletics. Because they tend to be the smallest in the family (for a while anyway, mine is now 6 foot 3 and taller than everyone) they figure out early on that aggression gets them nowhere. Instead they opt for charm and a wee bit of manipulative pouting to get what they want. For this reason, they continue to be quite charming as adults and are often regarded by others as sociable, easygoing, and very friendly. They may have less confidence about making decisions since many were made for them, so they are quicker to seek help and talk things out when faced with a dilemma. Finally, they are less likely to follow family traditions, often going against the grain on an everyday basis, as well as in the direction in which they take their lives. Insert aggressive head nodding here from the middle child who does not feel as though the youngest prioritizes Sunday family dinner as much as he should.
So what can I tell you about my youngest child? Let me begin by saying that my first two were incredibly intense, each in his or her own way. My oldest was intellectually challenging, never settling for the “because I said so” type responses that can be the mainstay of parenting in the early years. She needed an explanation for everything, and it had better be a good one. My middle child was the equivalent of a Crossfit workout. Although extremely intelligent as well, he was more focused in running away from me as fast and as often as he could. Sometimes I wonder what possessed me to even have a third child. Whoever runs this whole show must have taken pity on me because I was sent the easiest, laziest baby ever, content to sit in his bouncy chair and laugh at the world. As he grew older, and his siblings continued to be whirlwinds of angst and energy, he graced us with his own unique sense of humor and kept us all sane. If you are a Star Wars fan then you’ll understand my reference when I say that he brought balance to the force. He became the key to our family, the thing that held us all together, and that still remains true. Without his presence, we become something else entirely. He is sweet, gentle, and charming, very well read, and an exceptional conversationalist. He’s also your go-to person to ask any question about movies (even some very bizarre ones) and sports. Inevitably he’s the one who helps us all to fill out our NCAA brackets during March Madness. He also moves at the pace of a snail, or maybe a sloth is the better animal to use here since that’s the nickname his siblings have given him. If you’re in a hurry to get anywhere and he’s involved, you need to allow some extra time. His favorite place is reclining on the couch, so in many ways he still reminds me of that happy baby in the bouncy seat. While he was growing up and his older siblings were busy with other things, he was often my constant companion. We developed a wonderful relationship where we can talk for hours on an incredibly wide range of topics. He’s been my sounding board time and time again. We seldom argue, and when we do it seems like the end of the world because it’s so unnatural for us. His siblings will tell you that he is still infuriatingly manipulative, and that’s probably true, but I seem to often fall for it. What can I say? He’s still my baby. He moved out just recently to live with friends. It was time and I’m so happy for him, but there’s a real empty spot that he left behind that makes me think of what Dorothy said to the Scarecrow. I think I’m going to miss him most of all.
Coming up with a cocktail for him was fairly easy because I knew it had to have Campari in it, but I do admit to consulting with his older brother for some of the finer details. I used equal parts of bourbon, Campari, and sweet vermouth as my base, and then added grapefruit juice because he loves it in a cocktail, passionfruit simple syrup for all our passionate, spirited discussions, and Fever Tree Indian tonic as a tribute to the countless times we ate Indian food together for lunch. I named it A Long, Tall Drink of… because my mom would often say he was like a long, tall drink of water. With love Connor. There’s no one in the world like you.
A Long, Tall Drink of…
Place all the ingredients except the tonic water in the bottom half of a cocktail shaker and add ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds or until very cold. Double strain into a Collins glass over ice. Top with the tonic. Garnish with a grapefruit slice. Enjoy!
Just one bit of administrative business: this week I tried posting only on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in anticipation of my new role at Cooper River Distillers. I, and many of my readers, were not happy with that schedule. Going forward I’d like to try Monday, Wednesday, and Friday instead. If I have a Thursday Barlogue to write about, then I’ll post that week on a Thursday as well. Let’s see how this goes. Thanks for bearing with me while I make this adjustment, and as always, thank you for so much reading. It means the world to me.