15 March, 2009

English tea

High tea comes in all shapes and forms. Today it was a picnic at the U of MN Landscape Arboretum. This is a place I have been many times with my daughter looking for the perfect future wedding site,  or just parent/child bonding, sometimes enjoying low stress nature therapy, just dreaming, scheming, healing. Occasionally, we would be negotiating my (knock on wood) grandparent time, in case I ever have grandchildren. I will definitely be taking them to the arboretum...But my son had somehow fallen through the cracks. He had never been here, bless his tree-hugging soul! I had fleeting moments of shame and guilt and even questioned my parenting skills, when he informed me I that of all the places I had taken him including Mystic Lake, Reno, Chez Panisse, and Golden Gate Park, he had never been to the arboretum. A sad oversight which was corrected this afternoon. We stopped at Sofitel to pick up brioche and bagette. Our next stop was at Lakewinds Co-op for Beelers (the very best) sliced ham, camembert de chevre, St Andre (triple cream), baby field greens, a few organic cookies, and sea salt and vinegar potato chips (or crisps, as we say in London). Our high tea feast was spread out in the dining room as the outdoor areas were still covered with melting ice and snow. We ordered cups of hot china green tips and settled in for some serious celebrating. In less than 5 weeks he will be gone. It's going so fast. As I watch him eating his ham on baguette with dijon mustard, he appears to be morphing from my baby-faced-boy-with-cheeks-of-tan to an independent, competent, confident young man. Capable of planning what to take on the boat, traveling through Boston to Maine and finding his way in the world. Doing his job quietly and efficiently. Honoring his commitments. While I cannot take credit for his success, I am so grateful to have the privilege of participating and observing his ongoing journey. And sharing one more teatime repast in his smiling, light-hearted company.

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