Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Tea Party

Yesterday was my son's 29th  birthday. Everyone knows that because I lamented about it all day. 
Now, his niece is the apple of his eye so to speak. There is little he will not do for her, and when he is not home she is constantly worrying where he was. 
So she was very concerned that Uncle Eric was not going to have a birthday party. We didn't tell her he WAS having a party or where, but she proposed that they  should have a proper tea party. we don't quite know where at 2.10 months she heard of a tea party, but she knew what was needed.
I had purchased a princess cake for her, but we had no cake for Eric. It was donated. We called Eric and he agreed they should have a private tea party. He would be there at 4:00, the proper tea time. 
Being He was celebrating his birthday, he arrived at 4:15, but we didn't snitch on him. Natasha was dressed in her prettiest pirate costume. Pirate costume? Well, yes. She was a pirate princess for Halloween, so she wanted to be a princess yesterday. So she donned her pirate princess dress and her mothers best heels. 
Uncle stopped and picked up the finest Earl Gray Tea, and we put the tea kettle on.  The party was quite a success. They had a party: mom and Nanny hovered near by with the camera. 
It is always amazing to me what little ones pick up. 
I  am always amazed at what enters a child's head at any given time. A little girl who adores her uncle felt it was very important to celebrate his birthday, and she wanted to look quite pretty for him. She has had delusions of princess hood every sense she saw Dora and the snow princess.
and her Uncle was her prince. 
The innocence of childhood is what keeps us going, I think. I am so sorry my kids have had to grow up and learn the world is not a nice place. When they were little I fought as hard as I could to keep them away from prejudice, hatred, mean thoughts and people. I home schooled them, tried to screen their friends but the very place I thought they were safe, the church, is where they met ugliness. We cannot protect our kids. The world creeps in through the very openings of our doors and lives. All we can do is prepare them. 
Protecting them was not the right thing to do. When they were hurt they were hurt twice as hard. I didn't give my daughter the proper tools to see the signs of abusive men and men who lie. I didn't prepare my son for people who are cruel and women who are not as they seem. They left home thinking the world was theirs to conquered. But it conquered them.
I am lucky they are strong, both fell both stood up again and rebuilt their lives, and we are all doing it yet again. 
My son reminds me from time to time that he is a romantic. 
I will always remember when he was 14. We had a youth pastor that was mean and did not care for him. I was fuming about it one day and he said to me;
"Mom, it doesn't matter if Randy doesn't like me. I like him"
The very innocence and truth of the statement shamed me. You can't make someone like you, but he could look over that and like that person anyway. I never forgot it, but I still wanted to smack Randy. 
How could anyone not like my kids?
If we could today, remember our lives at kids, would we have the relationship problems we have? Well adult relationships are not that simple. But maybe, we could solve them if we just remember we cannot change a persons feelings but we are responsible for ours. 
After the tea party, Uncle Eric went back to his own grown up party where I doubt they were serving tea but Natasha was left quite proud. In fact she has spoken of little else today except her tea party yesterday. 
I am thankful for an uncle who interrupted his life for his niece and a 30 party that she will remember for a long time. 
and someone who reminds me of Mary Kay of Mary Kay cosmetics good advice: People will not remember what you say, they will not remember what you do, they will always remember how you make them feel.
So we should remember that in our grown up lives, the next time we are invited to a 2 year old's tea party. 

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