Today, I had absolutely no difficulty deciding my tea selection - it had to be "Royal Wedding Blend". My eldest son, Rob, and his girlfriend, Karyn, got engaged this weekend and we've been celebrating since we got the news on Friday!
So, today I went down to the treasured tea vault and cracked open one of my last remaining boxes of Royal Wedding. It's a wonderful darjeeling - limited edition - that was packaged in a beautiful blue and gold box to commemorate the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. I stocked piled it when it was first offered, as it not only was a satisfying darjeeling, it also made a great gift for wedding showers and engagement parties. Now, that we find we're heading down that same path, we couldn't be happier.
And, although, we're not exactly (meaning not at all) royalty, my husband and I will be commemorating 25 years of marriage in May. The fact that our son and soon-to-be-daughter-in-law happened to get engaged this very same year just seems to make it all the more special.
It's so cliche, but where does the time go? Except for a few of the "high school years", time has gone by at warp speed. It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was standing at our family room door wall, watching our three children in the backyard, hanging from (not actually swinging on) the swing set, digging tunnels in the sandbox and eating their peanut butter sandwich lunches on their Lil Tykes picnic table. Now, suddenly, this year, they're all at milestones: my oldest graduating from college (and now engaged!), my youngest graduating from high school, and my middle son turns 21! It's so exciting and rewarding and emotionally-charged - - thank goodness my drink of choice has such a calming effect.
Another sip of my wedding tea and I think back to more than thirty years ago when we celebrated my parent's 25th wedding anniversary. It was just on the cusp of my one brother's engagement and before the steady stream of sibling weddings that followed. Because I was the youngest, the only girl and the one with the "shallow pockets", I planned the anniversary dinner in lieu of a major contribution to the total bill. We hosted an intimate dinner party at, what at the time, was considered a pretty fancy dining establishment. At ages 18 through 24, the four of us were quite impressed with ourselves and my parents were thrilled. In fact, the picture we snapped that night of my Mom and Dad at the restaurant table, both in mid-laugh, was an all-time favorite of my Mom's and it remained a permanent fixture on her bedroom dresser.
And, here, my husband, Chris and I are almost repeating history. Rachel is 18 and Rob will be 24 (and we've already covered Matt). We, too, have planned a special dinner - this time up north at our cottage - with the family to celebrate all that weddings can bring: love, happiness, children, tears and, most certainly, lots and lots of laughter. Without a doubt, the camera will catch us all in mid-laugh, and that's just the way we want it.
So, join me in a toast as I raise my cup of Royal Wedding tea to all who celebrate this wonderful "institution" (really, can we come up with a better term?) of marriage. Oh, and of course, another tea cup toast to an afternoon tea bridal shower in the future! And, this is just the beginning. . .
Yours in tea and friendship,