The other night, we had tea and braids night at my house. It was an excuse to quietly bond with my kids before bedtime. It doesn’t happen often that we get to hang out together, quietly doing projects. Key word quietly. My daughters know how to use their voices.
The girls love Sleepytime tea and Wildflower Honey, collected by our cousins in the Montana Rockies. It feels like a special ritual, and it helps calm them. I am in love with my ceramic mug by my favorite potter, Adrien Miller.
I have been teaching Marley to sew, a skill that I have collected in tidbits from both my parents, and both my grandmothers. My mom and her mom were very dedicated to following patterns. My dad and his mom were quite bold when it came to winging it and sewing by hand.
I consider my rudimentary sewing skills to be some of the most treasured practical skills that I have. Marley can now thread a needle, knot the thread, make stitches, and tie off the stitches at the end. I recently tried to throw away a tattered old pair of her underwear that had holes, but she insisted on mending them instead. She now proudly wears them, and I proudly pretend I am Caroline Wilder, raising pioneer children. Next stop, making balloons out of pig-bladders to play with. Simple pleasures!
Also, Marley mended a gaping hole in one of her favorite blankets, then tore out the stitches, deciding she liked it much better with the hole.
While she sewed, I brushed and braided her hair, which is like fine spiders silk but as dense and pale as pound cake. In the back ground, an uninterested fairy with droopy wings pretended to be the princess of the puppies.
For fun, I wrapped Marley’s dutch braid into a bun and pinned it with my incredible long steel 2 prong pins that I am obsessed with. I get them from an online shop called Mennonite Maidens. You should seriously check these chicks out.
Do you have daughters or long haired sons? Tea and Braids is a lovely evening-time bonding tradition for children and their parents. My girls love having braids in their hair, and then mermaid-y waves for the days following.