It started out as envy.
I was invited to a tea party by a friend. She had the most elaborate collection of teapots I had ever seen. They were beautiful. As we all filed into her home she had a fabulous spread of sinful delights. It seemed as though the chocolate fairy had touched every morsel.
The handful of friends, all gathered together sipping our tea from gorgeous cups, seemed to somehow enrich our conversations. I left that day wanting the ability to have my own tea parties.
Over the next few years, tea cups and teapots became the staple gift I received for birthdays and Christmas.
After a long day of chasing toddlers and teaching math lessons, a cup of a calming tea in a favorite cup became my antidepressant of choice.
Fast forward into the tumultuous teen years.
In case we haven’t met before, let me explain. We had five girls in a row. That was fun when it came to dressing them up for church or taking them out into a crowd, all dressed alike. However, the teen years were not only tumultuous—they were hectic.
Life got so busy all of a sudden that we were passing each other in and out of the doors. The teens that were on the calendar for a mental breakdown (which they were good enough to each take in their own week) seemed to suck up my energy and time.
One winter afternoon in the midst of a teen crisis or two, I had this bright idea. I held a tea time for my girls.
It was late in the afternoon in that lull just before it was time to start all the dinnertime chaos. Not a big deal. I boiled some water, made tea in my prettiest pot, grabbed a few cookies, and put on some music.
I forced them all to stop what they were doing and sit down with me. Something magical happened. They loved it. We relaxed for about thirty minutes. We talked to one another. Once again our conversation became enriched with the setting.
From that moment on, they wanted afternoon tea to be a part of our daily routine. For a long time, it was part of our busy day. The more hectic the day, the more important that time we set aside became.
When I called my girls to tea that day, it was because I wanted them to slow down and talk to me. They were growing up so fast, and each of their own lives were beginning to take shape.
What I soon realized was that I needed it more than they did. Because as busy as they were, my busyness was multiplied by five.
They needed to see me in a calm, relaxed atmosphere just enjoying their company. Soon, the tables turned and they were pulling me in, and making me stop working, to enjoy the beauty of simple conversation as we unraveled the complications of our lives around a warm cup of tea.