Ever since I heard another mom being praised for the fact that she had Enchanted Tea Parties for her kids, I’ve been feeling guilty about the fact that I’ve never had an Enchanted Tea Party. I’m feeling guilty. A bad mom. For not having Enchanted Tea Parties.
Part of the reason I don’t have Enchanted Tea Parties is because I wouldn’t have the first idea about how to throw one. The thought never occurred to me. And if it did, I’d have to Google it to know what to do. (Let’s be clear that the reason I didn’t have enchanted tea parties is not because I was a working mom. If I were a stay-at-home mom I would have a perfect house. And a perfect garden. But I would not have Enchanted Tea Parties just because I was at home.)
I’ve never had an Enchanted Tea Party myself, because my mother never threw one. She never went to the park either. Or baked things for the bake sale. (She just donated $5 and said that she had baked her fill for my older siblings and that she was done.) She did play a lot of Candyland and Chutes and Ladders, though, as I recall. And I still turned out relatively okay.
I mentioned my guilt over this to Emma, who in her own Emma way said, “Mom, do I look like I’m suffering because I didn’t have Enchanted Tea Parties?” Which is one of the reasons I love Emma so much. Aside from the fact that she’s my daughter. And part of me knows that she’s just not an Enchanted Tea Parties kind of kid. And if she were, we would have had them. (If I had Googled it or got a book from the library, that is.)
I don’t frequently feel guilty. Yet the whole issue of parenting, and its requirements, causes me great guilt. What should I be doing to ensure that my children are bright and inquisitive and creative and free thinkers and imaginative and good readers? (Don’t get me started on the whole “20 minutes a day of reading” thing. We read 20 minutes a day, sure we do, absolutely. Except when I’m tired and it’s more like 10.)
I know that I’m doing the best I can. And I know that my children are happy and bright and well-adjusted and pleasant to be around and funny and kind and empathetic.
Most days, that’s enough. As long as no one mentions Enchanted Tea Parties.