It's been a long, long time for me. It was going to be our first time doing this together. I could hardly ignore the child buzzing around me so I sent her to put on her dress. As she walked down the hall, she reminded me that she wanted it to be nice but not too fancy. Therefore, I opted for casual dress.
"Are you ready?" she shouted from her room within minutes.
"Yes. May I come in?" I replied.
Slowly, I opened the door and immediately noticed the perfectly set table. Maybe not perfectly set according to formal British etiquette standard but it was perfect for us, perfect for this moment. We took our seats at the table. With her American Girl doll, Katherine Rose, by her side, we had our first tea party!
We used the fine china tea set she received as a baby gift from the realtor who sold us our first home. We found it on the kitchen counter when we first walked through the doors with baby in tow. I have kept it hidden away for 7 1/2 years, only breaking it out once in a while to show my daughter and tell her about how she got it. But last night, we used it for the first time.
She carefully picked up the tiny teapot and poured us each a cup of chamomile tea. The extra tea was stored in a NUMI glass teapot I received as a birthday gift from one of my BFFs. In the middle of the table laid a glass dispenser filled with local raw orange blossom honey we picked up while on vacation. We each had a teacup, saucer, and a small plate. A small plate?, you ask. Yes, of course. No self-respecting Brit would have tea without crumpets. Only thing, we didn't have crumpets. We had whole wheat toast topped with butter and a choice of Wedgwood fine raspberry preserve or homemade strawberry rhubarb spread, cut into perfect little squares. Oh yeah...we partied until we finished every last drop of tea then we went to bed.
As I laid next to my daughter in bed, I realised that she just started to play with dolls in a different way again.
The night before, for the first time, she made a bed for Katherine Rose right next to hers. She changed her into bedtime clothes and covered her in a doll quilt I made years ago. She looked and me and said, "Mummy, doesn't she look comfortable?" I started to respond but she instructed me to whisper because "she is sleeping". I could feel her excitement. Then I saw it...that light in her eyes. She wanted to know why my cousin who is a carpenter had not yet delivered the handmade doll bed she ordered. So, we called him and they discussed their business arrangement. Then she calmly went to sleep.
Staring at her beautiful face, I began to reminisce. As a little girl, I couldn't wait to wake up on Saturday mornings to play dolls with my sister. We would make doll clothes out of any thing we could find, my grandmother's scraps or even our socks. Yeah, got a lot of beatings for cutting up them socks. At other times, when I spent Saturdays alone with my grandmother, she would indulge me and make me a doll dress on her sewing machine. Oh how I cherished those dresses. Then one day, in some unforeseen, unexplainable way, I outgrew playing with dolls.
Now, this morning I woke up and I couldn't stop thinking about the tea party. I mean, I have long stopped playing with dolls. I am going to tell you a secret but you have to promise not to tell. After all, I wouldn't want to damage my reputation. So, do you promise? Ok, here goes nothing. I accept that I like to play with dolls. I accept that I like tea parties. My only regret? My doll, who my sistren purchased for me last week, did not make it to the festivities. But, she is on her way in the mail...
One Love, Se'Lah