I enjoy getting to pick my granddaughter up from school occasionally. Lately, we haven’t had time to do much more than spend a few minutes together as I transported her home. Today, knowing we had a bit more time allotted, Aubrey asked if we could have afternoon tea together.
I love that this little girl enjoys so many of the things that I also enjoy. We can share those experiences and create memories at the same time. Of course, I was thrilled to have tea with her. Because I am limiting my sugar intake, I don’t have sweets at home. Therefore, we opted to have afternoon tea at Panera, where Aubrey could have iced sweet tea instead of the hot tea that I drink. And with the wonderful selection of treats available there, I knew we could find tea appropriate foods.
I selected a shortbread cookie and a blueberry scone to accompany my hot English Breakfast tea. Aubrey carefully studied the selection of goodies before choosing a mini chocolate cupcake with chocolate cream icing, a chocolate chip muffin top, and a couple of slices of sourdough bread. Panera very graciously gave her the bread slices, which is not a frequent request at the restaurant. Aubrey loves bread. That was the first treat she devoured.
We had a lovely tea, seated near the large front windows of Panera, laughing together, chatting, sipping our tea, or in Aubrey’s case, slurping it through her straw. She is an accomplished conversationalist and I always delight in her insights and perspective on life. As we were finishing our tea time, Aubrey noticed sparrows hopping about outside on the sidewalk, searching for tidbits of food. She asked if she could toss her bread crusts outside, for the birds to enjoy. Darting out onto the front sidewalk, she tore her crusts into sections and dropped them before rushing back inside.
She had barely returned to her chair to watch out the window when the first sparrow reappeared, eyeing the bread crusts. In moments, there were a dozen birds pecking at the bread, attempting to pick it up, tossing bits into the air. We spent several cheerful minutes watching the antics of the sparrows, laughing as one bird and then another flew a short distance, low to the parking lot, carrying a bit of bread while other birds flocked after it.
What a relaxed, happy tea time we shared today. I am so grateful for Aubrey’s idea. I cherish the prospect of this tradition of ours continuing as she grows into adulthood. Someday, she can host afternoon tea for her own daughters….and perhaps she will invite her Yaya.