I don't know what it is about poetry teatime that makes it so special. I can't exactly say why it works. Is it the fancy teacups or the tiny cubes of sugar? Could it possibly be the allure of the store bought blueberry muffins?
I have a nursing baby and a hurricane of a two year old, so it is no small feat to get this done. It certainly takes some exercise of the will, but I do it every week. I clear the table and pull out the tablecloth, sometimes baby in arms. On the days when my will bends and I consider skipping it just this one time, my 8 year old son steps in to help. My 6 year old daughter, with a bit of coaxing, will also help set the table.
With the table set and the tea poured, we begin to dive into poetry books. I read a few poems, pass the book around with some small post its and they mark poems and pass it back. I read more poems. Sometimes they read a poem or two.
The poems are equipping my children with the words that I could never bring them myself. With those words come the experience of places unseen, people unknown, and the ordinary unveiled. All of it so eagerly gulped down with tea and the store bought blueberry muffins.
I snap a picture and all looks blissful, but outside of that frame there is a much different story. The baby may or may not be crying and the two year old is most definitely making a mess somewhere. Depending on the day my bigs may also be mid tantrum, but poetry teatime goes on. I take the picture to remember it all. My hope is that they will remember, too.
I look forward to the day when poetry teatime is a peaceful interlude in our day, but until then I'll embrace the chaos that it is. A little chaos is totally worth it when they absolutely love something!