When we have red wine with dinner, George usually pours an inch or so in a wine glass for Jacob, then adds as much or more cranberry-grape juice to make a wine cooler. Jacob has always just assumed it was wine, which actually made for quite a funny incident once when someone served Jacob straight wine and he tossed back a great big swig of it. His facial expression sent Grace and me into hysterics. But I digress.
Tonight we ate cheese tortellini with sweet-onion and garlic sauce, salad, and toasted french bread. And a nice Malbec. Jacob received the cooler blend. We’d only just begun to eat when he picked up a slice of bread and held it as though he intended to dip it in his glass.
I said, “Jacob, I don’t think you want to stick your bread in the wine.”
He hesitated, then took a bite instead and put it back on his plate. “I want to get drunk,” he said.
“You do? Well, that’s not the best way to get drunk.”
He looked thoughtful for a moment, then snatched the bread and dipped it in the wine as quick as he could and popped it in his mouth, the whole time watching across the table to see what I would do.
I raised an eyebrow and took a bite of pasta, chewing slowly. He waited. After swallowing I said, “You know, Jacob, that reminds me of a little boy I used to know.” I paused, and he fought a grin. “Whenever I told him not to do something, he loved nothing more than doing that very thing–usually right in the same room so I could see him doing it.”
Jacob looked away to hide his smile.
“Can you guess who that little boy might have been?” I asked.
“HmmmmMMMMMmmmm,” he said, I presume to buy some time.
I leaned forward. “Any ideas at all?”
Jacob fixed his gaze on the cross on the wall–his standard line of defense when he wants to pretend he’s ignoring you.
“Oh,” I said, acknowledging the object of his focus. “So, were you taking communion then?”
Steady gaze. No answer. George and I kept eating. Jacob eventually picked up his fork and joined us. Toward the end of the meal, he reached for the wine glass.
“Remember to sip it, Jacob,” George said, demonstrating with his own glass.
Jacob threw back his head and downed the rest of it in one gulp. Then he got up to clear the table while I sang a hearty rendition of “What can you do with a drunken Jacob?”–composing additional verses until he finished the chore.
Yeah. So, let me just say that “intinction” is a wonderful word, and it means something even more wonderful. Let us celebrate the feast. We are redeemed, and boy do we ever need to be.