Tuesday, November 25, 2014

American Girl Tea Party

Dear Em,
Meal times were not a big darn deal in our home until you were born. Then things got interesting. The first few months after you were born, you seemed to always need to be held during dinner time. Daddy & I would take turns eating while the other held you. I remember moments when I was so starving, I held you & placed a napkin over your head to protect it from crumbs while I ate.

Once you were old enough to sit in a high chair & began feeding yourself, things got really messy. Food covered you, your high chair, the floor, & everything else in a five foot radius. At least you & the mess were semi contained back then. There is nothing keeping you strapped to your chair these days. It's hard for you to sit still longer than 30 seconds at any dinner table, which means you are bouncing around the dining room with your food while the mess travels with you.

So while we have had many tea parties at home (like this one), I have never dared to attempt one in public. When I think of tea parties, I think of ladies dressed in nice clothing. I think of manners & white gloves & quiet music. You bouncing around, loudly singing songs, & dropping food everywhere does not seem to fit my vision of a nice tea party. But when we were invited to join your best friend & her mom for an American Girl Tea Party, somehow I found the courage to say yes.

Growing up, I had never been into American Girl Dolls. When you showed interest, I thought it would be fun to forgo the premade characters & design a doll that looked just like you. We chose a doll with your green eyes & wavy dirty blonde hair. We Santa gave the doll to you last year for Christmas, & you named her Emma Rose.

You woke up extremely early Saturday morning, having no idea a tea party with your best friend was part of the day's plans. I asked you if you would get your American Girl Doll dressed. It took more than a half hour for you to pick out Emma Rose's ensemble & put it on her. I picked out a dress & sweater for you to match Emma Rose. Then I fixed both your hair with the same curly pigtails.

You were extremely surprised when we stopped at your best friend's house to pick her up. Little S looked so stinkin' cute with her American Girl Doll in hand. A huge smile covered her face as I let her tell you we were going to an American Girl tea party.

We walked into the event & I was struck by the adorableness of it all. There were dressed up little girls everywhere, squeezing their dolls tight. There was a formally dressed wait staff, carrying fancy trays of tea. There were silver trays of mini sandwiches & cookies (guess which tray you exclusively ate from). You & S drank your tea lemonade, ate your food cookies, & chatted like such sweet little tea party guests. I was impressed. You both did great!

While we were enjoying tea, young ladies dressed up as American Girl characters walked around offering each little girl their autograph. As you talked to each one, I realized what makes the American Girl Doll characters so special. Each character came from a different era & has their own inspirational story (there are books to go along with each character). Each girl is strong & special & unique.

We may not have known much about the characters present at the tea party while we were there, but I have a feeling we will be learning about many of them as we begin to read the books. I'm excited to read the inspirational stories about little girls who made big differences. While I was never into American Girl Dolls as I was growing up, I'm excited for it to be something that we can now share together.

I love you so,

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