Recently I was given an invitation I just couldn’t refuse. As I was sitting at the computer, trying to wake up and feeling as though I’m fighting off a cold, my little Lucy came in. “Come have tea with me,” she said with a smile. I tried to tell her that mommy had gotten up early to go to Walmart for groceries and that I had a cold and just wanted to sit at the computer for a while and wake up. But she would have none of that. She tried again. “Come have tea at the table with me,” she smiled. “And we can talk about stuff.”
Well that did it.
Since my first daughter, Kati, was about four years old, I have had a tradition with my girls of trying to do tea time. It started younger with Lucy as she has a big sister to witness enjoying a cup of tea with mom. When Kati was young, I went to a tea room with my sisters and my mom and watched with delighted fascination as a mom and her young daughter arrived for their special tea time. Both were dressed in their finest and the little girl looked so pleased to be there. I decided then and there this would be something I would do with my Kati and then again when Lucy arrived.
Tea time first happened with my daughter in a posh tea room outside Cincinnati with my sisters and their girls during a holiday visit. Kati loved the hats and feather boas and the little sandwiches. Soon after, we moved to Rapid City, SD and I made it a priority to see if there was anywhere to do tea with my girl. Though Rapid City does not have a posh English-style tea room, there was a more rustic place in town. This place had wood floors and eclectic tables and chairs. But what they do have is stainless steel pots and trays to bring you a brewing pot of tea at your table. Sold!
Every few months, Kati and I would go for tea. I’d get a two-cup pot of Irish Breakfast (my favorite) and two cups—one regular-size and one espresso cup with a tiny spoon. We’d get a scone or a cookie to share and I would let her choose a table. I would pour the tea but she could add her own cream and sugar. And we would talk.
What a delightful way to lay a foundation for manners and the give and take of polite conversation. She would ask me about my day and I would do the same. I would ask her questions about what she wanted to be when she grew up and her friends now. And inside my heart, I prayed we would be able to continue this tradition as she grew older and opening up became more difficult.
Just this week, at another tea time, I was so amused by Lucy, age 3 and half, talking about her husband and her home someday. When I told her I prayed for him, she very quickly asked, “What’s his name?” I smiled and told her I didn’t know but God did. She seemed to like that answer. And she asked me if someday I would rock her babies. Of course I agreed.
Tea time with my girls sometimes gets lost in the busyness of having four kids and a household and a crafting business. It is missed when it is. This weekend we are making time for tea and each other. We will get dressed up and head out to our rustic tea shop and order a treat or two and a pot of tea or two since there are now three of us. It will be Lucy’s first official tea, after all. I wonder if Kati and Lucy will wear hats. Whatever they decide to wear, I’m looking forward to the delighted looks on their faces and the interesting conversation that always seems to accompany girls and a pot of tea.