There’s always time for tea!
Most hardworking men, the end of a tough day, week, or month, find their bit of solace in a beer, the boob tube, their buddies, or an outdoors adventure. Me? I’m not like most guys.
Last night I found my bit of solace in a cup of strawberry tea and pink cookies, which I ate and drank off of Barbie(tm) brand tea cups and saucers.
You see, I’ve been working too hard.
Char and I were about as far from being workaholics as possible when we first met. We were more gypsy dreamers, and our dirt-poor lives were filled with thoughts of youthful revolution and hippie sensibilities. We had only our dreams and goals to power us through the days.
Fast forward 5 years, and our lives couldn’t be any more different. For one, we’re not poor 20-somethings anymore, and the lofty, liberal ideals of the day have given way to a much more realistic, almost conservative ethic. The reality of that paradigm shift is just as disturbing to me as it must be to those who’ve known us!
But, trust me. When you have two kids depending on you and a business with employees as your sole source of income, a more lax work ethics and ideals will evaporate for you, too.
My once bitter early 20’s self, who would complain at having to work a double shift at my day job as a waiter (8 hours max!), now regularly puts in 14-16 hours days, sleeps very little, worries very much, and smokes even more.
I neglect everything that matters at one time or another. If I focus on my family life, the business suffers. if I focus on the business, my marriage and kids suffer. It sucks, and I’m constantly battling an unnerving fear that no matter how hard I try I will eventually end up failing at all of it, because I can’t seem to exceed my expectations for any of it!
But last night, my angel of a daughter, Ella, appeared at my office door, at the end of a particularly grueling 3 day marathon of photo processing, complete in fairy princess gown, and asked,”Daddy? Will you have a tea party with me?”
“No, sweetheart. Daddy is really busy, and I have to work a little bit more before dinner…” I suddenly saw a memory of me begging my own father to do play with me, and his distracted, stressed brush-off-answer.
So, I reconsidered.
Good call, Trig
“Well, of course!”, I corrected, and I bounded from my desk chair (which has a permanent, nearly exact impression of my buttocks pressed into the cushions), ran upstairs and put on a nice shirt, a tie, and my caddy cap (ironically, Ella’s tea parties are the only time I ever wear a tie…)
I arrived in short order to one of Lady Ella’s legendary tea parties. Even her younger brother, Trystan (yes, named after the business…), joined us. While Ella and I daintily dined on pink lady finger cookies, and sipped demurely from our plastic pastel tea cups, Trystan pressed as many cookies as he could into his mouth, slopped his strawberry tea all over himself and the floor, and then proceeded to grind that tea crumbs mixture into the carpet until it was more of a carpet-fiber, pink mush, slop mixture.
It was great!
I love my kids. They center me in ways I’ll never fully understand. And for that brief 20 minutes of childhood pretending, the pressures of the world melted away with each sweet, warming strawberry sip, and loving smiles from my two angels.
A special thanks to Mommy for pausing to capture this moment before she ran off to run errands.