I love tea....and I love beautiful things. About 7 years ago I purchased my most beloved piece of furniture.....a beautiful distressed china cabinet. It matches my personality and my loves perfectly! I knew immediately what to fill it with as well: my TWO sets of china!
I never registered for china when I got married because there were so many other things we needed.....and we were going to be living in the smallest apartment known to man. I would not be doing much entertaining. I never thought I would own one set of china, let alone two!
A few years after I was married, I was visiting a very elderly woman in my dad's church. I casually mentioned that I loved her blue and white china. It matched the color palate of the quilt I had been working on for over a year. That lovely woman up and gave me the entire set of china. Now, of course, I tried to dissuade her. I did not mean I loved her china so I wanted to TAKE it from her....but I guess when you are in your 90's, things like china do not mean much anymore and she wanted to let them go to someone who would love them.
Around the same time, Greg and I were on a date to an antique store (still our favorite date!) and we ran across a beautiful set of antique china. It has a beautiful rose spray and was too beautiful to pass up. We ended up buying that for an AMAZINGLY good price....so here I sit with 2 sets of china.
Here are the typical rules for china:
1. You display it.
2. You use it on special occasions.
3. You be careful with it.
4. It is not every-day use because of the cost and value of the pieces
5. You use it to celebrate special people.
The more I thought about that, the more I realized I did not like those rules.....or I decided to adapt them to my own philosophy. I am finally a grown-up. I get to do that. Who knew?
So, if china is for special people, why does it typically just sit away? I decided a long time ago, that I am going to "break out" my special and gorgeous china for the most special people in my life....my family. I am going to let those blue fingers that break things all time....the ones with mud-caked fingernails and stuffy noses....the ones that pick up rocks and worms and this morning ate dog food.....I am going to let those little hands handle my special china because those are the people that mean the most to my heart. I am going to make my little boys realize how much I value them. I am going to teach my daughter how much I love her and want to celebrate her.
We are going to have impromptu tea parties. We are going to eat little cakes on beautiful plates....and put too much sugar in the cups. We are going to try out new tea and spend time together as we wait for the whistle of the kettle. We are going to build memories and I am not going to cringe when the teacup falls to the floor, knocks into a brother's head, or tea spills all over the carpet.
My children won't keep. The days that I will have tea parties alone, in the quiet with no risk of breakage are days I don't want to think of. I want to savor this moment. Today. I want my kids to know I value them more than I value glass. I want them to get in that china cabinet and bring me a tea cup and ask for a party....like they did this morning. I hope these days last in my heart forever!