A few weeks ago, I attended the most wonderful event.

My Daughter’s class invited their moms to a Mother’s Day Tea. The handmade invitations indicated a special event was at hand. I’ll admit I was skeptical. A tea for mothers? In the first-grade classroom? With all those tiny little chairs that no self-respecting adult should attempt to use? Hmm…

But of course there was no way I would miss it, despite any misgivings on my part about the size of the chairs versus the size of my tuchus. I accepted the RSVP, put the date on my calendar, and waited for the Friday before Mother’s Day.

There was much advance preparation for the event. Zilla shared the secret plans with her Dad, taking great pains to keep them from the sphere of my awareness. She was beyond excited and I wasn’t certain how she would manage to contain herself until the event. But she did.

Finally, the big day arrived.

The moms assembled in the front lobby of the school. An air of festivity and excitement brewed to a perfumed high. Finally, we proceeded to the classrooms to meet our children. Any misgivings I had about the combination of my ample tush and the tiny chairs? Vanished the moment I saw my little girl’s eyes eagerly searching for mine.

Her eyes shone with the light of a thousand fireworks. Sure, she had only seen me about two hours ago, but somehow it seemed she was looking at me for the first time. She ran to me, handed me a carnation, and slipped her still-small hand in mine to show me into the room. Together, we walked across the classroom to her table. With great ceremony, she offered me her chair and explained that the moms would sit and the children would stand and serve us our tea. Delightful.

She went about her hostess duties with skill and grace. The children gifted the moms a collection of sweet and wonderful mementos the class had spent time making for the moms. It was clear to me that each item received painstaking care in its creation. She brought me iced tea and cookies and made sure I was comfortable. We made a poster with our footprints listing the things we like to do, side-by-side and step-by-step together. The class recited a sweet poem to end the festivities.


You would have thought the Queen herself visited the first grade classroom that morning. But no queen has ever felt the overwhelming love and admiration I did that morning. Zilla never took her eyes off of me – not for even a second. It was as though I were the only mother in the room, not one of twenty.

All too soon it was time to go. She said goodbye a thousand times before releasing my hand reluctantly at the classroom door. I don’t think her feet touched the ground for the entire time I was there – and maybe not for the rest of the day.

As for me I started crying just a bit when I saw her tiny, expectant face searching for me in the hallway and I think I cried for the rest of the day. Perhaps it was the realization that in her small world, I am her everything. Perhaps it was seeing how great her love is for me. It’s easy to forget those things in the thick of the homework, activities, discipline, and chores of every day.

I am certain there will be days in our future when these feelings are difficult to recall. I am certain there will be days when she looks at me much less admiringly when we disagree on topics like boys and skirt lengths and curfews. But even in those moments, our bond will remain.

And I don’t believe I will forget that morning anytime soon. It will always be there in my heart to remind me how special that time together was, and how special our relationship always will be. Never has any gesture so small as the Mother’s Day Tea felt so grand as ours did that day, and never will any tea taste so sweet.


One Word Blog Linkup hosted each Wednesday by 

Lisa of The Golden Spoons

Janine of The Confessions of a Mommyaholic

and Marcia  of Blogitudes.

This week’s words: together and/or small


Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

36 thoughts on “Sweet Tea

  1. This is a sweet story. I laughed at the small chair part of the day. I worked in a Preschool for so long, those tiny chairs became a normal part of where I sat, when I sat. It was always interesting when the parents came in for conferences for the first time how they reacted to the chairs. Some simply wouldn’t do it. The Mother’s Day Tea is one of the sweetest memories of early childhood. Just so sweet. And while you’re there, read “I’ll Love You Forever.” by Robert Mensch. Then cry.

  2. omg I soooo love this! I can just imagine. Im sure you werent the only mom feeling teary or worried about her butt to chair ratio! I love that kid! I especially love the drawing on the right of the photo!

    1. I know the teary part at least is true and I’m sure you’re right about the butt thing, too. She is too much isn’t she? The sparkly drawing? Yes, that’s a good one. I think I’m going to frame the fingerprints one.

  3. What a great memory! I loved hearing about the tea and I think any of us who have been near an elementary (or preschool) can relate to the tiny chair thoughts.

  4. I had at Mother’s Day at my daughter’s pre-school and then just yesterday when my kindergartner invited me to her very special person picnic at school. I am constantly awed at how much my two girls love and adore me and hope they feel this way for years to come, as they also are my everything and have my heart always. So, I get this truly too in spades.

  5. I can hardly see to type because of the tears in my eyes. Oh, Lisa! This post – that moment – how perfectly beautiful! Your telling of it touched me greatly. How truly blessed you are – how loving and wonderful your sweet Zilla is! I’m so glad the two of you shared such a special time together. That memory is definitely one you should cherish forever! Thank you so very much for sharing your happiness with #1Word today. I absolutely love this post!!!!

    1. Thanks, Marcia. Yes, I got pretty teary myself while writing it! It was absolutely perfect and a day I won’t soon forget! If you asked me years ago, before she was born, if a child could have this much effect on me? I very likely would have said no way. Amazing how we change.

  6. Oh you’ve brought back the wonderful memories of the preschool Mother’s Day tea for me. Thank you. There really is nothing quite like the way your child looks at you as they hand you that flower and then take your hand. So, so cute. I have a photo on my fridge of my 3 year-old boy concentrating so very hard as he carries the tray bearing my tea and scone. I melt a weensy bit each time I look at it. That was 16 years ago now. Whoa. Still affects me.

    1. Wow, Kelly, that is such a beautiful memory and I love that you have a photo! I dug in my camera and I don’t think we actually got a photo of that day. I have one from a Mother-Daughter brunch we went to the following week, though, so that works! Glad this took you back to your Tea!

  7. What a lovely memory!! I have three daughter and this brought back lots of memories for me! They are getting older (my oldest is dangerously close to officially becoming a teenager) and I so treasure memories of moments like these.

  8. Zilla is completely adorable and this was most beautifully and wonderfully told. THAT is why people have kids. I remember now 🙂 *happysighs* LOVED this, Lisa. Thank you for sharing such a special moment.

    1. I am so especially glad that you loved this. I have to laugh at your “THAT is why people have kids” part – because truly? There are days you wonder. 😀 😉 Thanks for loving this. I CAN’T WAIT for you two to meet. *squees* (And I don’t generally squee, just for the record.)

      1. AWWWH I love that I made you *squee* and I cannot WAIT to have a hug-in-a-mug with Zilla and meet you both (and Fab Hub?) properly face-to-face FOR REAL 😀

        And yes. I know that realistically this is a peak, but what a lovely peak to have. Sure helps to even out the valleys.

  9. What a beautiful story this is. I love it so much. The ample tush in the tiny chair, the realization that in her small world you are everything. I’m seriously sitting here crying. My kids are all reaching ages where they wouldn’t be caught dead holding my hand in public. But there are those moments when I catch them sneaking a glance my way to make sure I saw the basket they made or the ball they caught at shortstop. I’m certainly not their everything anymore, but I know deep down it’s still important to them that I’m there.

  10. From the ample tush on the tiny chair to you being her everything, I love this so much. My kids are at that age now that they won’t be caught dead holding hands with me in public. But there are those moments when I see them sneak a glimpse to make sure I saw the 3-pointer they made or the out at 2nd base. I’m certainly not their everything anymore, but I know deep down it’s important to them that I’m there sharing the moment with them. This is a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing

    1. I think you have a sort of duplicate comment thing going on Julie Jo – My spam filter does stupid things. There are an “elite” bunch of commenters here who get sent to spam ALWAYS. Some of my oldest and most regular commenters still get tossed there, despite the fact that I have NO comment moderation turned on.
      Thanks for your lovely comment(s)! I know these days are numbered and that dynamic of how much she needs me and when will change. But I’ll take every second of it while it lasts! 😉

  11. A beautiful post thank you. Children seem so vulnerable don’t they and I love the way they get excited when they have planned something for you. I love the tea cup and saucer. It was lovely you could share that time with your daughter.

    1. Thanks, Sue! I agree – children do love so completely and without fear. Makes you wish we adults could relax and do it that way, too.
      That cup and saucer is part of a set of four that someone gave us as a housewarming gift. They match almost nothing we own – except our Daughter. They are perfect for tea together.

  12. What a sweet memory this was. It reminded me of the one I had in first grade, but that one I took my grandmother. I’d forgotten about that until now. Thank you Lisa.

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