Wednesday, December 7, 2011

High Tea

Last week, one of my granddaughters asked me if there really was a Santa Claus. She said that most of her class doesn't believe in him. The kids who do believe, are made fun of. It all starts in elementary school. These things never change.

I remember sitting at the little table in my daughter's room while she served me pretend tea and food made of play dough. Too bad it all gets tarnished as they learn that life isn't perfect and then the little dishes and cups all end up in a cardboard box in the garage.   
----------------------

high tea

plastic cups and plates
high tea and cookies
in a little room
full of pretend
and make believe
it's all great fun
right up until the time
that life wears them down
and beats the wonderment
and innocence
out of them

that's how
cynics are made


.

52 comments:

trav4adventures said...

I once had a 5th grader who still believed in Santa! I had to "shhhhhh" the other kids so they wouldn't ruin it for her!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sometimes reality sucks! Did you tell your granddaughter to believe anyway?

Budd said...

I am surprised how quickly some parents want to shatter these illusions. When my oldest asked me if he was real, I simply asked her what she thought. Of course she ruined it for her sister.

TS Hendrik said...

Very wistful and incredibly well done poem Pat. So true too.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

cool!!

love it! it has put a big memory lane smile on my face...so thank you for that. :)


have a great day!

TexWisGirl said...

awwww. breaks my heart!

mshatch said...

There was a story I read back when I was questioning the reality of Santa Claus (age 8? 9?)which told the tale of St. Nick, an orphan who was shipped around to live with a different family in the village every year. And every year when he was about to go somewhere new he secretly left behind handmade gifts for the people who had cared for him. And even after he was older and didn't have to, he continued to make gifts for everyone until the day he died. Then all the parents in the village asked themselves what to do? And of course they continued on in his memory which is how the legend of St. Nick came to be. It was the perfect story for me at that age and sometimes I still think of it, especially when people say there is no Santa.

California Girl said...

oooo, rough but true. I was disabused of Santa in 1st grade when my best friend told me and I went home to ask my mother. She admitted it was true. I was devastated.

We didn't tell my brother or admit to it til he was 10 years old. My second son was much the same. He was easily in 4th grade before he gave up Santa.

Belle said...

I remember the innocence of my daughters and how that was spoiled by going to school. You want so much for their lives to be always sweet and perfect, but of course that is not to be.

Lolamouse said...

Wow. My daughter is 15 now, and I really miss those tea times. Being Jewish (hubby is Catholic!) I always had a problem with telling kids the Santa Claus story and saying it was real. As a kid, I always knew it wasn't, but I was told not to tell my friends so I wouldn't ruin it for them. I always thought that the let down and the idea of being lied to by parents was worse than being told that it was just a story in the first place.

Rek said...

Very well written and so true....my 4 yr old nephew asked me the other day if Spidey would save him or only american kids he lives in the US...didn't have the heart to say, it only fantasy...he will uncover the truth soon enough.

Brian said...

It never should hurt to believe!

Bouncin' Barb said...

It is sad that kids have to grow up and lose this precious innocence isn't it? They need to hold onto it as long as possible. My grandkids are 9 and 10 now so we're at the end of the make believe fun. Darn it! Great post.

Copyboy said...

Wow! For some odd reason I want to go to neverland right now.

missing moments said...

Isn't that the truth!

Chuck said...

Hey, now you get to go to tea with your granddaughter...it's the circle of life, it'll keep ya young and ya know...less cynical. Nice poetry Pat.

michele said...

It appears that kids are not believing in Santa earlier and earlier.

Ms. A said...

They seem to grow up faster and faster with each generation. Sad when you stop to think about it. There's plenty of time to face the harsh realities of life, without starting so darn early.

Pat Tillett said...

trav4adventures - Wow! That's pretty old! I'm sure some of the kids said things outside the classroom. Most kids figure it out for themselves by then (I think).

Alex - It sure does Alex! I told her that he exists for her as long as she believes. I guess that can be said of a lot "faith" related issues.

Budd - My mom told me in first grade so I wouldn't expect things. Kids are so mean to each other!

Tim - Thanks Tim! I really appreciate that.

Betty - Thanks Betty! The trials and tribulations of growing up!

TexWisGirl - I'm with you. It's all pretty sad.

mshatch - That is such a great story! I'm surprised that kids believe in Santa after sitting on the laps of fat/drunk/phoney Santas at their local mall and elswhere.

California Girl - Ouch! That sucks! That was so nice that you didn't tell your brother the truth. What a nice sister!

Belle - You are so right. It just isn't in the cards for kids. Too bad!

Lolamouse - We had five kids, 4 of them girls, and now two granddaughters. So I've had plenty of tea parties!

Pat Tillett said...

Rek - Thanks my friend! There you go! The things that kids think are amazing! That was nice of you...

Brian - I agree! Sometimes it does though. That is sad...

Bouncin' Barb - It sure is! If they made it to 9 and 10, then you guys did really well! Thanks.

Jesse - I'm with you! That goes a little beyond Santa though...

missing moments - It's sad, but it sure is true!

Chuck - Yep! She's pretty much gotten over that stuff in the past 6 months or so. There's another younger one who will be there in the next few years.

michele - I think you are right! So many little kids have cell phones now that I'm sure they think Santa lives at their houses.

Ms. A - Oh man! That is so true. It's like they get cheated out of a healthy chunk of their childhood.

Dawn said...

I so wish Tea Time would never end....
A wonderful post! And so very true.

The Illustrious D said...

Preach, brotha.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

So true, Pat. I really like this pithy piece.
Be well.
xoRobyn

Stephen Tremp said...

We're having a garage sale to get rid of all that junk .... errrrr, stuff from Christmases past. This year the kids get Kindle Fires. Finally, something they can use year round.

N. R. Williams said...

The Santa question is a concern. I told my daughters about the real Santa when it came time and then they each got to take turns being Santa after that. A little sting rubbed away.

I saw a program about High Tea, it's amazing how much food, sweets, they eat with the tea.

Loved, loved your tribute poem.
Nancy

Mice Aliling said...

I believed in Santa until when I was about 8 :) It was all nice memories...and nice gifts, too haha!

Pam said...

Sad, but look how well life turned out in-spite of it all, Pat.. loving Family, traveling , shooting beauty and articulating.

be happy n well,
Pam i am :)

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

I miss those pretend days.

Nat said...

Sad but true. If only children could hang onto the innocence of childhood for longer...to just be kids, to believe in Santa Claus, to find joy in the simplest things ...but it seems shorter every generation.

altadenahiker said...

When I was little, Santa visited the house on Christmas Eve and handed out presents. One year I noticed Santa and my dad wore the same watch. Hmmm. Best to keep my mouth shut, else he might not hand out the presents. First cynical moment.

Pearl said...

You have to start out with a lot of magic/imagination. You're right: life beats it out of you.
Pearl

Steadfast Ahoy! said...

When we were little, we left a peanut butter sandwhich and a cold beer for Santa. Years later, I finally realized why everyone else left him cookies and milk and we didn't. I smile and love my Dad more and more every time I remember that story.
Rosemary

Pat Tillett said...

Dawn - The tea was okay, but those playdough cookie! Yuk!

The Illustrious D - Hey there!

Robyn - Thanks Robyn! Same to you...

Stephen Tremp - That's an awesome gift. Especially if they like to read!

N.R. Williams - Hi Nancy! It's good to do it with as little sting as possible.

Mice Aliling - I also remember putting bikes and other things together late night Christmas Eve, to have them ready for Santa's arrival...

Pam - Yep! I somehow found my way! Lot's of work. Thanks so much Pam.

KaLynn - I miss them as well.

Nat - You are so right! My oldest grandkid is in 4th grade (she is 9). Half the kids in her class have their own cell phones! How in the world are they going to believe in Santa?

altadenahiker - That was very smart of you! My first memory of a Santa, involved a fat guy at the local shopping center, who was obviously drunk and smelly!

Pat Tillett said...

Pearl - Yep! that life is a mean one! Also, there is no shortage of classmates willing to help it along!

Rosemary - That is a great story Rosemary! Now THAT is a great memory! Thanks for sharing that one...

Anthony J. Langford said...

Great poem Patty.

So very true..

the sad sad days of getting older..and discovering the lies. Part of life but a sad day indeed.

Nice work.

Icy BC said...

Oh boy, this brought me back to the time when my daughter was young, and we had tea time too!

Baby Sister said...

Boyfriend doesn't want his kids to believe in Santa because he doesn't want them to feel lied to. But I was raised believing in Santa and I never felt that way. If we get married, we'll see what happens. It is sad to see dreams get shattered early. Beautiful poem, Pat.

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Pat Tillett said...

Anthony - Thank you my friend! I'm pretty sure the retailers benefit the most! Thanks...

Icy BC - Yep! It was a lot of fun watching them grow-up. Well, most of the time anyway.

Baby Sister - Thanks so much! I guess Santa is just one of bunch of lies. Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, etc...

Ms. Becky said...

well isn't that the truth? well put Pat. But I wasn't as crushed when I learned the truth about Santa as I was when I learned that I wouldn't stay 10 years old forever and one day would grow up and die! now THAT was crushing. oh well. all good things must come to an end. happy weekend to you Pat.

Laura Delegal - Leroy Photography said...

So true. The world is full of people who want to snatch away from others. :(

Pat Tillett said...

Ms. Becky - I found out very young and wasn't crushed. I never saw any gifts from santa in our house. Things were usually from the local boy scouts, a church, or some other kind (usually) group. I hope you are having a good weekend also!

Laura - That is so true! Sad and true! I hate those kids!

Talli Roland said...

Ah yes, the innocence of children. Well, at least we have it for a bit!

John McElveen said...

Powerful! I could do ANYTHING, until I was told by an Adult that I couldn't!

Great post Pat!

J

Jerry said...

Imagination needs to be nourished even while life tries to rob them of that nutrition.

Magia da Inês said...

♥✿⊱╮
º°♥❤ Olá, amiga!

❤ Passei para uma visitinha.
Tenho saudade do tempo em que eu acreditava no papai Noel.

Boa semana!
Beijinhos.
Brasil ♥✿⊱╮
º°♥❤ ❤

Pat Tillett said...

Talli - Yep! Not long enough though!

John - Thanks John. I won't even get into what I was told...

Jerry - I agree! It's too bad that their peers have much more influence on them than do their parents (on some subjects anyway).

Magia da Ines - Obrigado para seu comentário. Eu também lembro-me desses dias.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

But then if they're lucky -- and I am sure your kids and grandkids are -- they lose that teen-aged, young adult cynicism and earn some of that childlike wonder back!

Francisca said...

Life still hasn't worn me down... long after I stopped the pretend and make believe. There's just too much real wonder waiting to be discovered. Hence I never did become a cynic. Hope your granddaughter doesn't either. :-)

Pat Tillett said...

Sallie - It's a mixed bag of results on that front. Some of them have it and some don't.

Francisca - It's tried damn hard to wear me down, but I won't let it. I've been cynical, but don't like it at all. My granddaughter has a good time with her sense of wonder.

Jenny said...

This made me cry.

Nothing is sadder to me then the loss of innocence.

SquirrelQueen said...

It's so sad that the innocence of childhood lasts such a short time these days. Little kids now are learning about things that I didn't know about until I was in junior high.