This past Monday, I was the lucky hostess of a Mad Tea Party.
I am fortunate enough to work a flex schedule, meaning that I have Mondays off and then work 10 hours the rest of the week. So, I get to spend most of my Mondays with Niece #1 and #3. During the school year, I pick them up from school, take them to various practices and hang out. I have done this since Niece #1 was in Kindergarten. I love it! It is my parenting time. In the Summer, the girls and I have Summer Fun Days. We will do things like catch all the new (age appropo) movies, geocaching, shopping etc., etc.
Last year, the girls and I had a Fancy Hat Tea Party. We rented big floral hats from a local costume shop. I made scones, and cucumber sandwiches. And we talked in (bad) British accents and were fancy. It was so much fun.
This year, Niece #1 wanted to do a Mad Tea Party. I collect Alice in Wonderland, as a result they love all things Wonderland. I am in! Coincidentally, Nephew #2’s birthday was earlier in July, but he was spending some time out-of-state with his dad, so we hadn’t had the opportunity to have a proper celebration. Niece #1 (who is getting wise in her “old age”) said “Let’s have an Unbirthday Party.” I love this girl!
The girls wrote the invitation and sent me menu ideas. They assigned characters. We were on our way. Niece #1 was The Mad Hatter. Niece #3 was The White Rabbit. Nephew #2 was the March Hare. My sister was the Queen of Hearts. And I was the Cheshire Cat.
Here is the invitation:
Dear March Hare,
You are cordially invited to play
croquet with the Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter,
White Rabbit, and the Cheshire Cat
your Very Merry Unbirthday
with a little tea and a snack.
Please be in Wonderland at precisely 2:00 pm
on the dot on Monday July 29th.
You don’t want to be late for a very
important date like the White Rabbit
was for our last meeting with the Queen.
See you soon.
I spent so much money on food, and ran all over town getting supplies, looking for a costume etc. But it made me so excited to have this party to plan.
The day before, the girls sent me a text that Niece #3’s friend was also going to join us. Okay a little adjustment but now Alice will be there too,
I picked up the girls, we decorated, cleaned up the house, made food, got ready. It was the most amazing time. And when the guest of honor arrived, it was all worth it just to see the smile on his face.
We ate tea party snacks, and talked ridiculously. We laughed, and simply had a lovely time.
As I sat there watching these kids, that I love more than most anything in the world, I said a silent “Thank you,” to who or whatever is out there. I would not change these moments for anything. And I am so incredibly grateful and blessed to have these amazing kids in my life. Not only that, but that they live close to me.
If you had asked me about 12 years ago what I would have thought about being an aunt, I would not have had any idea what was going to mean to me. I can honestly tell you that it is my favorite job ever. I am not a mom, so this is the next best thing.
I was a little sad when the tea party was over. I was thinking about how these moments and activities are going to soon be few and far between. The kids are growing up. Niece #1 starts Jr. High this year. Having a tea party will likely not be high on her priority list in the years to come. So I cherish this time, and the things that I get to do with them now. And I hope that they will have these memories of the times that their Nini spent with them too.
I highly recommend having a Mad Tea Party. It will set a good precedent for a great week. Plus cucumber sandwiches and lemon curd are pretty good snacks.
Greetings from Wonderland!