Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Tea Party

I'm not sure if it's the same in all houses that have small children.  I have a large amount of pretty dishes.  They fill the small china cabinet, the cupboard above my fridge, there are a few more stashed up above the stove, and I'm pretty sure that I have a bin or two in the basement, still packed away from the last few times we've moved.

These dishes stay in their cosy little cupboards.  The only time that they come out is if we are expecting some really special company.  To be honest, we don't have company often.  Not because we wouldn't welcome it- more because we have a bit of a crazy life, and many of our friends haven't had children (yet), and of course, there is the whole special needs parenting that seems to frighten people away.

About a year ago, I found a tiny china tea set at Value Village.  I snatched it up, thinking I would put it away for Daisy.  I spent a whole five dollars, and as it turns out, it was probably the best five dollars I have spent in a very long time.  She uses it daily, spilling water all over the floor, and frequently forcing her brothers to have tea parties. They are usually good sports about it, which makes me very happy.

I did not teach her the pinky thing!
The other day, while Jon and Owen were on the way to Sick Kids for a dental check up, Daisy was a little bit under the weather.  She was also a little bit grumpy, because usually, we all go up for the appointments together.  But since we just had a stomach bug go through the house I decided that it would be better to keep her home.

In an attempt to lift her spirits, I suggested that we have a tea party.  And I am so glad that I did!  I went to get the little tea set and it suddenly dawned on me- why play pretend when we can have an actual tea party? You see, my china set was given to me by my Grandmother, who received it as a wedding gift.  My Grandmother gave it to me when I was married.  She passed away a few years ago, and while the china was always very special to me, it means even more now.  I keep it tucked away in the cupboard because I am afraid that it will get broken.  But when I think about my Grandmother, and just how much she LOVED my kids (and me) that little voice in my head that says "Be careful with this!" is suddenly quiet, and replaced with the sound of my Grandmother laughing as she watched my kids toddle around the backyard.  She would have never suggested that I keep things like that up in the cupboard.

Getting bigger every day
So I made a big decision that day, as I sat down with Daisy, adorned in her fanciest dress.  I told her the story of Great Grandma, and how the china came to be mine.  I told her about who she was, how much she loved us all, and how much we loved her back.  I told her about her red hair, and how Great Grandma Lily was a living, breathing example of red haired fire power.  I may have also mentioned that Daisy herself is very much like Great Grandma, minus the colouring. And I am proud of that.

We sat at the dining room table for well over an hour, sipping tea and nibbling on some fancy party leftovers.  We told each other stories, and laughed at silly jokes.  It was, in short, one of the best mornings ever.

So now, on Sunday mornings, I will not hesitate.  We will dress in our best.  And we will come to the table for tea- served with Great Grandma Lily's china.  We will tell stories. We will learn about each other- and about those who came before us.

Why?  Because Nana would be pleased to see her china put to such a good use.

Thanks for stopping by!  Do you have china packed away in your cupboard?  I can't be the only one, can I? What do you like to use it for?  Don't be afraid to leave me a note down below in the comments section!


  1. Sorry, misread and got point is: I love this tradition and the delicious memories you created for you and for Daisy. My parents have those same dishes and I remember well the feeling of anticipation when I saw them being taken out of the china cabinet - someone's coming!

    Great photos, mama!

    1. Aw thanks Belly! I remember seeing them in my Grandmother's corner cabinet when I was very small. We didn't have large meals with them often, but the tea cups came out quite a bit. It was the universal signal for good manners if we saw them on the counter!