This school year I was a bit sad sending both big kids off to school for the whole day. I will tell you it's not been an easy transition for Teresa. She is having a tough time adjusting to being in school for the whole day. Sam has adjusted to the school time routine more easily. But me...I am sad for me. I miss spending time with them. I miss eating lunch with them. I don't get to experience all the ups and downs of their days anymore. And while I know this is how things go, at least for our family, it still takes some time to get used to. Jen over at listmama has inspired us to begin a new ritual that is helping to ease the transition somewhat. Thanks Jen!
Every day about 3:00 pm I put out the blue speckled teapot and some Japanese teacups and the heart shaped plate. Each one of these pieces is special to me. The teapot sat on top of my mom's stove for years until one day she just got tired of washing the grease off it and gave it to me. The teacups were a gift from a Japanese friend of mine. She and I had an afternoon teatime ritual too, way back when I was a new graduate from college and on my own for the first time in my life. I received them when she moved back to Hawaii and paring back to only what she could fit in her suitcase. And the heartshaped plate I unwrapped as a wedding favor from a very very dear friend. Although we didn't take tea together, we were usually sipping some beverage on our outings. ; )
The teapot rarely has tea in it. Somedays it's milk, regular, chocolate or pink and others it's apple or orange juice. The little plate is filled with goodies; muffins, nilla wafers, teddy grahems or homebacked bread with butter. I set up the table and listen for the bus.
Sam and Teresa run in from the bus, shed backpacks and sit themselves down at the table. I pour the tea so we can sit down and chat. We talk about the funny things that happened that day. I'll tell them how one of the daycare babies nearly caught and squashed the kitty and they tell me the games they played at recess. They tell me who they sat with at lunch and who their buddy was at mathtime. We talk about the times they felt mad or sad or frustrated. We take the time to connect. For some reason I never get the standard "nothing" when we chat over tea. They are full of the goings on of their day and seem eager to share it. And what's wonderful is we no longer feel so disconnected from each other's day.
My home can be a chaotic place, especially just after 3 in the afternoon. What with the kids coming in off the bus, little ones waking and needing snack and new diapers and parents coming to pick up their children. But those ten minutes Sam, Teresa and I spend sipping our "tea" and sharing our day are precious. We are able to celebrate and commiserate together and somehow no longer feel cheated of each other. Who knew so much could fit into a little cup of tea.