It was two days before Christmas, I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off and a lit stick of dynamite up its back-end. You know, doing all that pre-cooking and last minute wrapping. Then, the phone rang.
“Mawmaw.” That sweet little three-year-old voice filled my ear and the holiday stress faded like magic.
Now, my granddaughter is extremely verbally talented. There’s nothing she can’t say or talk about. I mean, a couple of weeks ago, Hubby and I were over in my daughter’s neck of the woods and were taking our granddaughter to a park. We were about five miles from their house when she piped up from the backseat and said, “Mawmaw, you see that white building? That’s where Mama and me went and voted for president.” Yes, she’s three years old and this kid is blessed with language skills and intelligence. I mean, she already knows where she has to go vote.
About the only time I can’t understand everything she says is when she’s really excited. And on that pre-Christmas phone call, she was very excited. I heard, “Mawmaw, Mama said I couldn’t, but . . . blah blah blah,” and, “tea party blah blah blah,” followed by . . . “Okay? Is that okay?”
Wanting to make her happy, (Hey, I’m Mawmaw and that’s what we do) I said, “Okay.” And I wasn’t worried at all until I heard the little darling voice say, “See, Mama, I told you Mawmaw would say yes.”
My daughter gets on the line and says, “Mama, you didn’t have to agree to that.”
I stammered just a second. “Wh . . . what did I agree to?”
My daughter starts laughing and then she tells me the story. My granddaughter had decided they needed to have a tea party. So she went and found her little play tea set. But she found it swept under her bed, so it had something in it. And not just anything in it. We’re talking Texas mold growing inside tiny plastic tea cups. She was so upset when my daughter told her she couldn’t drink out of them anymore. She was still pouting, but then my daughter said my granddaughter’s eyes lit up and she said, “I know, when I go to Mawmaws, we can have a real tea party with real tea cups. Not play tea cups, not regular tea cups, but real fancy ones.”
You see, years ago I collected antique tea cups. So around the house, I have about a half a dozen of some of my nicer cups set out on shelves and such. My granddaughter had never really had an interest in them . . . until now. The next day, Christmas Eve, my daughter, her hubby and my granddaughter showed up, wrapped presents in hand. We were still setting the gifts under the tree when my granddaughter comes running up with about four antique cups and saucers stacked in her arms. “We’re going to have a real tea party,” she squeals with the biggest, sweetest smile on her face.
My daughter’s face grows pale seeing her three-year-old so haphazardly carrying my hundred-year-old tea cups as if they were building blocks. I know my daughter is remembering when she was a teen and broke my favorite cup. She had felt terrible and even went out and bought me a replacement. But I have to tell you, seeing my granddaughter all lit up with joy over us having a “Real” tea party was simply priceless.
I told my daughter to relax, if a cup or two got broken, it would be okay, because the memory would be worth it. So I just helped my granddaughter bring them into the kitchen and we made tea and sat around the table, pointing out our pinky fingers, eating cookies that we called scones, and we had ourselves one fine Christmas Eve tea party.
You know, I’ve had some of those antique cups for over 20 years, but I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed them more than right then. Happy New Year again, guys. Even if you break a cup or two, I hope you all take the time to sit down with a three-year-old, point your pinky fingers out, share some tea, laughter, and make some memories.