The school supplies have been bought, packed neatly into the kids’ backpacks, and await their chance to help your kids be the sterling scholars you know them to be. Your kids are outfitted in the latest “must have” fashions and equipped with the latest gadgets. These are all signs of one thing: It’s “Back to School” time!
Now that the kids are back in school, the house can seem a bit overly quiet. No “bing! bing!” from a video game. No yelling and crying as siblings “discuss” ownership of a toy or who got the bigger half of the peanut butter sandwich. Time for a perfect cozy tea moment where you can brew up a cup of your favorite Oolong or Assam, mellow it with a bit of milk and sweetener (or liven it with a slice of lemon), grab a treat, and settle in a comfy chair to enjoy them.
Kids grow up fast. They go from being helpless infants, needing our attention on a seemingly continuous basis, to toddlers wondering around the house on somewhat wobbly legs and pulling items off of tables and low shelves, to walking/talking/mini-people who go off to school to learn about the world and acquire the knowledge they need to deal with it.
They make parenthood a real balancing act. On the one hand, when they are around, there are noises, things being spilt, constant watchfulness to see if they’re alright, and making sure your own behavior is appropriate and a proper example. On the other hand, when they’re away, after the initial “Aahh!” at how quiet, clean, restful, and unrestrained your world suddenly is, the “Gee, I miss them” sets in. A cup of tea hits both nails on the head with one stroke, so to speak. It extends that “Aahh!” moment into an “Aaaahhhh!” moment. And it gets you past that “Gee” moment so you’re ready to tackle your daily tasks (especially if you work from home).
For me, there’s an added benefit: That tea moment helps soothe the feeling shooting up my spine (like hearing fingernails dragged slowly and purposefully across a blackboard) at the sound of a loudly rumbling, brake squealing, diesel fume belching, eye-popping-yellow-colored school bus pulling up beside the house to pick up two or three of the neighbors’ kids (even though we all live a 15-minute drive from their school).
But I digress…
For all you parents who remain at home during the day as your kids head off to school, you need that transitional moment spent enjoying a good cup of tea. Extend that moment by making it a real ceremony. Some steps would be:
- In your tea kettle, heat to the proper temperature the needed amount of fresh, clean water.
- Pre-warm your teapot with hot water (swirl it in the teapot, then dump it in the sink).
- Select your tea and add the required amount (usually one teaspoon per cupful plus an extra spoonful for the pot) to the teapot.
- Have your favorite cup and saucer ready as well as whatever you like to add to your tea, if anything.
- Select a special treat to enjoy with your tea. (If you are watching your intake of sweets, have some fresh fruit or some raw veggies.)
- Have a book or other reading material handy.
A few minutes with a cup of tea and you’ll forget you have kids. (Just kidding!) You will, however, be ready to tackle whatever the day has in store – from laundry to your work-from-home projects to gardening to cleaning out the attic or garage. Enjoy!
Read more great articles about tea on A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!