last night

I invited forty or perhaps fifty teenage girls and their mothers over for a tea party (or more accurately, apple juice party, for us Mormons).

My committee doubted my sanity when I suggested real tea cups, real plates– nothing plastic or disposable. But to me, serving tea in heirloom china means “I love you enough to wash your dish.” “I trust you with things that are valuable to me.”

Yet, as Saturday progressed it’s usual chaos, driving to and fro and my house obscenely dirty, I too, thought I must be crazy.

And just when I thought I couldn’t possibly pull it off, these people jumped in to help:


Ben was scrubbing the bathroom, Erik swept the hall, Gabe ran up and down the stairs putting things away.

Would they have done this for me a year ago? I don’t know. But the tea party was a smashing success. Chatter and laughter filled the room, girls balanced tea cups in their knees while eating tiny strawberry cupcakes and ribbon sandwiches, compliments and hugs flowed freely. Not a single dish was broken or even a cup of “tea” spilled.

After the party, Erik commented that the clean up was much easier than usual because there were no half eaten treats left on the couch, no abandoned plastic cups tipped over by an unsuspecting elbow.

Maybe, just maybe, painted china dishes bring out the best in everyone.

Maybe we all need more tea parties.

March 24, 2010
March 29, 2010



  1. Claudia

    March 29, 2010

    I hope those girls realize how incredibly lucky they are to have you as their leader!

    What fun!

  2. Ken

    March 29, 2010

    Dear Michelle,
    Your Mom loved to use her best china too! I’m sure she is pleased with you!
    I love you.

  3. Selwyn

    March 29, 2010

    I can’t see how it would hurt!

  4. Tracy

    March 29, 2010

    I used my best china for my 5 year olds tea party birthday this month – and now I am thinking we should use it every day.


  5. Mathmom and family

    March 29, 2010

    We all need an excuse to take out the china.

  6. Amy

    March 29, 2010

    Your Dad’s comment is making me all teary and emotional…

  7. Sue

    March 29, 2010

    Same here. Same as Amy. Teary and emotional.

    In the very best way.


  8. The Planet Pink

    March 29, 2010

    yes, we all need more tea parties!

  9. Heather

    April 2, 2010

    Did your amazing boys just notice you needed help and pitch in? If so, do you think it is nature or nurture? If nurture, how did you do it? I want to raise my kids to be as thoughtful and helpful as yours.

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