One of the ways that I have always met with my girls hearts is through food and drink. I started taking each one of them to a special weekly tea time or coffee shop time when they were only toddlers. That stepping away from regular life circumstances to meet them one on one with intentional weekly conversation has proven through the years to be so beneficial. They open up and share in those times and we laugh guttural laughter in those times. Some of our very, very best memories are in those times!
In this life season where coffee shop visits and tea time at the tea house are no longer a regular occurrence, I am simply implementing these same times weekly in our home. The celebration is even more important now! We do not stop celebrating only because circumstances change. There is always, always much to celebrate!
Certainly being stripped of transportation and regular paychecks for the past few months has made it more challenging, but Im committed to these girls and their hearts so Im resolved to continue these weekly celebrations. A space set apart in our home or outside on a porch or lawn with china, flowers from the yard, thoughtful baked treats and a pot of strong English tea creates the atmosphere of celebration and attention in the same way (and sometimes better) than going out does. Im also really enjoying the new tea time recipe research and decorating intentionality of these at home celebrations!
I feel the challenge of adjusting to doing this a new way has only underlined my reasons for implementing it in the first place. This has never been about the tea, it has been about the relationship built during those tea times. It has been about consistently showing the girls that I care about them and want to meet with them, that they and their hearts are a priority to me. The more heavily we are hit with lifes adjustments, the more fervent I become in continuing to show them these truths. Im not wearing myself out making it ultra formal every time, but rather just special and set apart every time. What I hope to strengthen in them by continuing these weekly traditions is the fragile but real Hope by which we live.
Yesterday morning I slipped a paint chip invitation scribbled with Sharpie under each of their doors. Reminiscent of a passed notes, I gave them boxes to check. Both passed them back under the door in silence, but with different answers. I then baked a new brownie recipe while they did morning school work. While I was baking I thought that putting a quote on the chalkboard for discussions while we were having tea might be fun. A tea trivia of sorts; just an easy, natural way to implement their learning of more famous quotes. They loved the idea and said I should do a new quote at some point each week so they could guess whose it was. C.S. Lewis was the quoted this week. I gave them an easy one to start off with. Grin.