Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Blanket Time

My wife and I are blessed with two small children. Our daughter is two and a half, and our son is almost three months old. We want our kids to grow up with a deep love of nature and a feeling that the world is filled with goodness and magic. We also believe that children learn though play and thrive in an environment that is closely connected to daily and yearly rhythms and rituals.

A new family ritual that has been happily received by my daughter is "Blanket Time." It started about a month ago when our close friends were visiting from California. They were sleeping in the living room of our small house and my daughter woke up early, ready to play. I had just made myself a cup of tea and decided that we should go out on the back deck to drink it so as not to wake our guests.

The air outside was crisp and the foggy ocean mist was thick and fragrant. Because it was a bit cold, we took along an orange fleece blanket to wrap around us. We cuddled together under the blanket and chatted while I sipped my tea.

My daughter and I had an unforgettably wonderful time talking about the trees and the sky and the sounds of the morning birds. We made guesses about the day's weather and even named a tall pine tree "Woody."

It quickly occurred to me that this didn't have to only be a one time event, so I came up with the catchy name "Blanket Time" and made plans for us to do it again. We have since repeated this pleasant domestic ritual almost every morning (except on those days when I had to be at work too early). Often times my wife and son now join us too.

When I later told my friend Arthur (an artist and father of two grown children) about our new family ritual he smiled and suggested that this tradition would probably be a part of our lives forever. Even when my kids are all grown up and living on their own, we can still perform our special morning tea ritual regardless of where we may be living.

Blanket Time is always evolving. My daughter now wants her own mug of tea (so I give her herbal or "watered-down juice tea" but I'll still let her taste mine too). She also likes to play with her fairy family as we sit together. But we still always start by talking about nature and saying good morning to Woody!

Fairy Family!

This post is my contribution to the September 2010 Tea Blog Carnival as presented by the Association of Tea Bloggers. Our theme for this carnival was "write about a memorable outdoor tea drinking experience." This month's carnival was hosted by myself and links to all other participating posts can be found here.


Gingko said...

This is so sweet! I don't have kids yet, but there are many moments when I see kids in a shopping mall or a fast food place and I think to myself "this is such a terrible place for kids!" In modern day society, there are so many commercial monsters that want to grab the kids. Blanket Time is a wonderful idea!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on having a very beautiful daughter. I am thinking that here (in west) we don't have tradition (in terms of tea) , we are more like lone wolves, but I think that's about too change. Our kids will grow with tea around them.


Unknown said...

I really liked reading this post. It has such a calm intimacy to it. Thank you for sharing the experience.

Nicole Manha said...

Cora is so lucky to have such a great father. I'm so proud of you.