Girls' Getaway

Now that Grace is eleven, and on the cusp of womanhood, it occurred to us that we needed to have “the talk”. So far, our goal has been to protect her innocence and keep her from being defiled with information that was inappropriate or destructive. As she approached young womanhood, I wanted to be sure she was not blindsided by puberty. I also wanted to fortify her against the pressures that will bombard her in the next ten years, no matter how skillfully we shelter her, and to set a standard for purity so that she will have no regrets when she reflects on her youth. 

Mike recently took David and Paul away for an overnight trip to discuss these same issues. They went to an airplane show and spent a memorable weekend enjoying Mike all to themselves, checking out the planes, and getting a peek into adult topics. As I began researching what I might do with Grace, I found a Bed and Breakfast only a half hour away, a Tea Room in the same city, and a whole section in that town devoted to antique shopping and I knew I had hit the jackpot. I wanted the whole trip to be a surprise, but I unwisely wrote the plans “in code” on my calendar. Grace flipped ahead and mentioned to the boys that she thought it was going to be her turn to do a mini trip, but Paul saved the day and told her he thought it was cancelled! So she thought we were just going to Jo-Ann’s to spend her birthday money and that Daddy wanted to take our picture because we accidentally dressed alike that day. Dressing alike really was unplanned. 

As we headed to Jo-Ann’s I told her I was glad she brought her money and had a toothbrush in her purse, because we were not going to go home until the next day! I had the Passport to Purity CDs from Family Life Today, which we began listening to right away. We took care of our business at Jo-Ann’s then went to Grace’s favorite restaurant for dinner. While we waited for our food to arrive, we worked on puzzles that were part of an object lesson on the CDs.

I didn’t tell her all my plans upfront, but let them unfold and surprise her as we went along. The Bed and Breakfast was just as adorable as it looked online and our hosts welcomed us with old fashioned southern hospitality. The whole place had a strawberry theme. Even the chandeliers had strawberries on them. The house was over 100 years old and quirky from multiple renovations and being morphed into a B&B. 

We spent several hours on Friday night and Saturday morning listening to and discussing the CDs in our room, then we took a shopping break. We visited several antique shops, all on the same block. The first one was a boutique and it was a visual treat with all the merchandise arranged in tempting displays. It did not take any imagination to see how nearly everything would enhance my own home. I walked by gorgeous furniture, china and linens, enjoying them all but feeling content with what I already had. Then I saw it. My heart thumped and flipped upside down. It was a tea caddy and it had been on my mental wish list for awhile. It was mahogany, had a an oval drop leaf table, two shelves underneath, a drawer, and wheels. It was just what I needed when my friends came over for tea. I forced myself to take a breath and checked the price tag. Hmmm. I checked the condition of the piece and tried to work up the boldness to ask for a discount. I decided it was never wise to buy in haste. This was, after all, the first shop. Perhaps there would be a better one next door. There wasn’t. But I did find Thanksgiving cookie cutters to add to my collection. We checked all the dusty antique shops next door and a consignment shop. I kept thinking about the tea caddy. We went back and I got a small discount. I could have tried for more, but I hate haggling, and I knew it was going home with me no matter what. With the caddy safely stowed in the car, we went to another shop and I saw another tea caddy! Almost identical. Closer inspection revealed that it was distinguished by a removable tray in the middle and the table was rectangular rather than oval. Almost afraid, I picked up the tag and was relieved that it was $120 more than what I had just paid. Oh, yeah! Now I really felt sure I had gotten a good deal. 

Feeling extremely satisfied, I told Grace that I would also like to get her a souvenir and asked if she had her eye on anything. She desired to own a pair of matching tea party gloves, since all our dress up gloves at home were no longer pairs, but singles. I suggested she ask the store owner if she had any, since the place was overcrowded and disorganized. It would take us forever to find them, if they even had them, and my stomach was beginning to growl. While Grace and the antique granny wandered around towards the back, I causally looked around and my eyes lit upon four pairs of gloves in a  glass case right next to the cash register. They were $3 each and also on sale. Ka-ching! As we walked out, Grace happily patting her gloved hands together, I announced, “I am getting hungry. Oh, look! There is a tea room! Let’s go inside.” When we walked in, a chic older lady greeted us, “You look like you are here for tea. You must be Laura and Grace. Let me see if your table is ready.” Grace was speechless. Our table was ready. I know how she knew our names, but I do not know how she already had hats that matched our outfits waiting on our chairs. 

The whole place was elegant and refined, yet relaxing. French love songs in the back ground. Pink walls. Feminine touches everywhere. This is what I wanted my room to be like when I was growing up. Grace just sighed, “I never expected this!” We each picked out our tea and had our own tea pot on a warmer. I had ordered the food when I made the reservations and got the big fancy tea. Everything was as delicious as could be hoped for on a perfect day. Grace licked the plate. Thankfully, we had the entire room to ourselves that afternoon so only you and I are aware of that.

I want to bring all my girl friends here. This weekend. 

Our wonderful mother daughter weekend exceeded all my expectations. Grace and I discussed important things such as choices, consequences, peer pressure, standards, purity, the birds and the bees, and how to enjoy a day of antique shopping and tea drinking. I know we will have to revisit all these topics many times. I just never realized how much fun it would be to embark on this stage of life. It is too bad that Victoria is only six and won’t be ready for this for five more years, but we will certainly enjoy the tea and antiques as much as humanly possible. 

© Being Fruitful, 2012