32: A Pot of Tea

32: A Pot of Tea

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Best Mom Ever!

A Pot of Tea

Each person’s life is lived as a series of conversations.

~Deborah Tannen

I got off the bus and slowly walked up the driveway to our house. It had been my first day of high school… an exciting, confusing, scary day. I had gotten lost moving between classes a couple of times, ending up in the wrong halls. I didn’t know most of the kids and I felt overwhelmed by all the new people I was meeting.

I walked into our house physically and emotionally exhausted. My mom took one look at my face and put the water on to boil. Within minutes, we were sitting at the kitchen table with cups of heavily sweetened tea and homemade cookies. My sisters weren’t back yet from their schools, so I had my mom’s full attention.

This was a treat because Mom was usually so busy, caring for my grandmother who lived with us and my two younger sisters, who seemed to need her attention more than I did. I had begun to feel like my voice couldn’t be heard over all the other noise in the household.

Mom and I sat at the table talking for more than an hour. She asked me questions about how things had gone, and by the time the hour was over, I had begun to share my fears, concerns, hopes, and plans.

The next afternoon I slowly walked up our long driveway again… still tired, still anxious, still questioning if I was going to survive high school. When I opened the door to the kitchen, I saw my mom sitting at the table waiting for me. The pot of tea was already made. The cookies were on the plate. The two cups were set out.

As I walked through that door that day, and every day for the rest of that year and the next, my mom waited for me at the table with a pot of tea and a plate of cookies. And an hour to explore what I was experiencing, who I had met, how my classes were going. There was no limit to what I could share with my mom. And there was nothing on my mind that she didn’t care about.

Mom and I kept that daily appointment until she went back to work, bringing in the income that would enable me to go to college. When our afternoon tea days ended, I felt a great loss. Yet, I was confident there was nothing I couldn’t share with her.

I have my own daughter now and she has a daughter. I make sure to spend focused time with each of them as well. There’s nothing like a regular heart-to-heart talk to build a relationship and create a wave of confidence to carry our children forward.

~Margie Williamson

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