Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tea with the Queen

Today I had tea with the Queen.  Which Queen you ask?  Oh, Queen Magdalena doncha know.

I'll start from the beginning, of the day that is.  The faucet on our kitchen sink is A.) hideous B.) backwards.  Yes, backwards.  One must push the hot/cold handles back for water.  And finally, C.) is leaking horribly and cannot be repaired, thank heavens.  So my hard working man who has worked for a month straight and this was his first weekend off picked up a job yesterday, I said to him I said, Honey, can we spend some time together as a family tomorrow?  M & A were pretty bummed when we woke up and you were gone.  They know it's Saturday and that you do not have the guard and that you were supposed to be home, so can we, hunh, can we please?  He said yes.  Then the phone rang this morning and he said, I'll just be gone a little while.  Sad faces all around.  This won't take long, how about after I get home we all go to the hardware store for a new faucet and then out to lunch?  Happy faces all around.

His job was short, our trip to Lowes was fine.  I said I'd like this, this or this.  And while he checked out the different faucets that met the mama's criteria, M & A & I wandered around the kitchen area fantasizing about our one day kitchen: our one day five burner stove, our one day dishwasher (Nora, I remember your words: It changed my quality of life), our one day two drawer oven, our one day HE front loader, our one day tile backsplash, well, you get the picture.  It was fun.  There is one thing that is a now kitchen and that is gorgeous pulls from Anthropologie and other fabulous places, not a hardware store.

I digress.  After we bought the new and quite perfect faucet and dish soap to go in the soap dispenser (YAY! no more dish soap container on my counter top!) we headed out to Mojo for b-b-q and we had a really yummy lunch.  Then home for coffee and hang out time whilst my man worked some more, but this time for free b/c of course it was here for us.  After a bit Magdalena says to me, Mama, could you please try not to be loud?  Augustus and I are going to take a nap.  Nice I think.  Naps are nice.  Then she wanted some appropriate soft music, turned on Pandora and said mama there is nothing that is the right mood.  Of course there is say I!  Let's try classical.  We try choral...too Christmasy she says.  Then I go for orchestral.  She says what's that?  I say ya know, Bach, Tchaicosky...she says Vivaldi?!  I say yes.  M and A listen to these amazing cd's that are stories of composers lives and music and they are riveting, and yes I listen to them b/c of course I have to and they are really really well done. Very entertaining and they do exactly what they are supposed to do.  Expose my children to great classical, baroque, whatever music and have them fall in love with it.  (We also have been watching the Habenera from Bizet's Carmen on youtube, that is their favorite piece right now.  It's a bit hard to explain that the gorgeous Carmen is a "bad girl", but Augustus gets it intuitively.  She's really beautiful, he says. And she's mean.  Exactly!)

Oh forgive me I digress again!  Such is my nature I do believe.  Anyhoo, so the classical music is playing and Magdalena is snuggled on the couch under a down throw, Augustus is in his room snuggled under his quilt, Ethan is in the kitchen working, I'm doing the endless laundry when Magdalena says Maaaamaaaaa...would you please make me some chai tea?  And then come and sit with me and have tea?  And I say oh Magdalena, I can't, I have so much laundry and... oh well of course I'll sit and have tea with you!  (see how I say no?  see why my laundry is never done?  I thought, as I walked into the bedroom to put down yet another load of not-folded laundry, what am I going to remember in five years?  The laundry that I did or having tea with my daughter in the dim light of her down-time nap?)

Classical music played while I danced my way into the living room with the little blue cafe table and matching chairs for Augustus and I, Magdalena would stay on the couch.  I put down a lavender tule with white stars table cloth, made a lovely pot of chai tea with warm milk and honey, and danced my way into the living room to serve.  Once there, Magdalena proclaimed her royal-ness and that she was Queen Magdalena and that I was her servant.  Fine by me I thought, pretty close to real life but I'll play along.  She spoke with a delightful British accent and when I answered her I barked out my best Cockney accent and she said no mama, you're not that kind of servant, you speak with a nice British accent.  I was knitting on my forever knitting project, having tea with Queen Magdalena and Sir Augustus, and we had a whole discussion of aristocracy, the working class, the servent class etc and accents and countries and what it means to actually say "the sun never sets on the British empire" which led to an exploration of "imperialism" to which Magdalena replied "oh you mean like the Persians!" and then went on a meandering narrative about Cleopatra, Julius Caeser, the Roman Empire and the asp that bit Cleopatra from Magdalena.

Sigh.  A perfect day.  Days like this I think, why do I ever worry about "what if"?  What if they're not learning?  What if they don't learn the right things?  What if I never really stick to a curriculum, whether it's one I bought or borrowed from the library?  What if I fail?  What if I fail them?

And then I remember that at the zoo party for Addie Magdalena was the only person in the room who knew "crepuscular", and one of the few that knew "diurnal".  And then I spend the afternoon having tea with the Queen, getting schooled on Ancient History, what Tasmanian Devils really eat, and who's who with Caeser, Cleopatra, her ten year old brother that she married, and Marc Antony and then I remember how perfect this really is, and how blessed I am to have the family I have, with the husband I have, and the children I have.

Tea with the Queen was all I could have imagined, and more.

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