Whenever the boys are away, the girls and I have a tea party. I don't remember how this was started, but the tradition has stuck. It's pretty simple - I lay a blanket out in the middle of the kitchen and brew some herbal tea. India invites a doll or two. Karis sits in the bumbo so she doesn't upend the tea. We sip.
Tonight was a tea-party night. Mark took the boys to the barber shop, and as soon as they were out the door, India pulled out the blanket and ordered me to start the tea. I needed this tonight. I've been feeling pretty down lately . . . having a lot of guilt about my parenting. The fact is, we've been in sheer survival mode for five months now. Maybe longer, if I'm honest. There is not a lot of "fun" in our lives right now. It feels like I am just going through the motions to keep things from falling apart each day. Cooking, cleaning, laundry, bathing, diapers, bedtime . . . there is not a lot of space for intentionality, creativity, or spontaneity. Over the past few weeks, I've been feeling this nagging sense that I should be doing more/bigger/better. Maybe I should be doing more crafts with the kids. Maybe we should be saving for those Disney passes. Maybe I should be taking them to new parks instead of the usual. Maybe I should be making themed dinners. Etc.
Our tea party today was a reminder that I don't have to do elaborate, ambitious things to create special moments. I can keep it simple. They don't require a tap-dance to feel special. Just a little quality time and a special moment. Even if it's on the floor of the kitchen. With a guest princess.