I went to a tea party yesterday. It was a mother daughter event which included no actual tea, but the lemonade was served in tea cups and there were scones. “Come dressed in your finest.” The invitation said. I did not actually pick my finest, formal wear is not quite right for afternoon tea. I did put on dressy clothes. Gleek did too. Then she got quite upset when she had no pretty shoes to wear. I’m not quite certain how we ended up with no nice shoes in her size. I guess she outgrew them during the past 9 months when she refused to wear anything but tennis shoes to church.
“I’ll be the only girl there with ugly shoes!” Gleek lamented as we got into the car.
By the time we arrived at the church building two minutes later, shoes were completely forgotten. Gleek found us seats at one of the tables. The first activity was hat decorating. The organizers had purchased and array of straw hats and hat trimmings. A long table was covered in faux flowers, ribbons, feather boas, feathers, tulle, glittery stickers, and pom pons. Gleek approached the project with high enthusiasm. My first reaction was more reluctant than hers, but as I arranged ribbon and flowers on my hat, I found myself enjoying the process of making something beautiful. We wore the hats for the tea.
Gleek’s hat was either a complete wreck or an absolutely brilliant expression of individuality and creativity. I loved it. I loved even more that she wore the hat to school today. As she disappeared into the school building I had a momentary fear that someone would make fun of her for her hat. Then I realized that Gleek’s absolute fearlessness meant that her peers were much more likely to decide she was cool than that she was weird. She was still wearing the hat at the end of the school day, so all went well. Now I just have to figure out when and where I am brave enough to wear mine.