Years ago, I bought a beautiful, China tea set with roses and gold gilding and brought it out in August for it's initiation while the grandchildren were here for their month long visit. OK, I'll fess up and admit that I bought the tea set in Maine before my granddaughter was even born, in the hopes that my daughter would have a little girl who would love tea parties. But, much to my surprise, my active, never still, video playing grandson loved our tea parties just as much as my granddaughter!
Here are some of the unexpected things that happened:
Both kids LOVED having tea parties and requested them when I didn't plan them. They also asked for napkin rings on the napkins because they were sparkly and colorful. And cookies on a special plate. They seemed enthralled.
Both kids liked to pour their own tea and took great care to do it without spilling or breaking. Even the 4 year old.
They sat quietly and used their best manners.
I was surprised when my grandson, who frequently has to be reminded of the importance of good manners, spontaneously said things like: "Would you care for some sugar?" or "Can I pour you some milk?" On his own. At age 8. In his most refined voice.
Both talked about topics that interested them and that didn't have to do with bodily parts or functions. Without reminders.
I don't take sugar in my tea, just milk, but both kids prefer their black tea with milk and sugar. My grandson told me: "A little bit of sugar makes it easier to drink." Sound familiar?
So, drinking tea leads to wisdom as well as changing lives.
Did I mention how much I enjoyed these delightful interludes? How much I liked being with my grandchildren partaking in this ageless ritual of sharing drink and food. Taking tea together, the drink of our ancestors, in hospitality and harmony.
Suspending our usual "go my own way" activities to focus on each other and the simple joy of good tea, in beautiful cups with a touch of sweetness.