At long last, tea time has become a tradition in our home. I've been wanting to make it a more regular feature, but amidst all of life's other demands it just hasn't happened. Or rather, I haven't made it happen. Then I had an impromptu tea party with Rosa (a bit of a consolation, as Daddy and older brother were going to the hardware store without her!), and her rapturous accounts of tea and chocolate orange slices made Little Man eager to join in the fun.
So, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, we had a tea party. China cups and plates, a tablecloth, fresh fruit and a sweet treat. It was such a success that the littles begged to do it again -- and so, for the past five or six Sunday afternoons, we've had our little parties together. They are simple affairs, featuring whatever baked good or treat we might have on hand (or a quick batch of scones if all else fails), usually paired with some fresh fruit. This has also been the perfect time to introduce some poetry. We have this Child's Anthology (an older edition), though quite honestly I find most of the poems not really child-friendly. Paul Revere's Ride was popular enough to be requested two weeks in a row, and The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee was also a hit! I think this week I'll pull out James Mayhew's beautifully illustrated To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.
It has been so lovely to have an "excuse" to pull out my prettiest teacups, teapots, and dishes! I have pared down my teacup collection to a few beloved favorites, because I now have a set of cups that match my china. Which is a story in itself -- A reader contacted me about two years ago, asking if I would like her mother's china. She had seen that I'd found a Queensware teacup back in 2008, and it happened that her mother had Queensware, as well. A whole set of it! And with two outdoorsy boys, she wanted it to go to someone who would love it. Stunned by such generosity, I gratefully accepted. I've used it for special occasions ever since, but have wanted to use it more regularly; our little tea times have provided the perfect opportunity. This past week we all used the matching Queensware teacups:
So far Twining's Lady Grey has emerged as a favorite, though Rosa was quite taken with Adagio's chocolate chip tea last Sunday! I only have a sample size from a past order -- I may need to buy more soon...
What a delight it is to share these moments with my ever-bigger little ones! I'm so glad that they have kept me accountable; not a Sunday goes by that they forget it's "tea party day," and I must admit that I would not be so faithful with it if they were not so enthusiastic. This is a tradition I'd like to keep alive; the perfect chance to take a little extra time and care, to enjoy each other's company, and to feed mind, body, and soul all at the same time.