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Salem Alpacas

Best Tea Party Ever!

by Shelley Norman

Jeff lounged back in his hammock, enjoying the early summer breeze, not able to think of a single better way to spend a Father’s Day afternoon.

“Special delivery,” his wife, Carrie, said as she stepped up beside him, holding out a folded piece of red construction paper.
“What’s this?” he asked taking it from her. Sitting up he unfolded the paper and read the carefully formed crayon printing. ‘Father’s Day Tea Party in the playroom. Now.’ Jeff cringed refolding the paper. “I have to go, don’t I?” he turned appealing eyes towards his wife hoping for an out.
“Yep,” she said smirking at his obvious distress. “But I got the girls to promise not to make you wear a tutu this time.” Still smiling she turned and walked back into the house.

Jeff loved his two girls with his whole heart, but man how he hated having to attend “tea parties” in the playroom with them. Tiaras, tutus and feather boas were required before sitting at the tiny, little table to sip warm grape juice from itty-bitty, plastic cups. But if he didn’t at least show up for a few minutes they would be heart broken, so grudgingly Jeff made his way into the house and down to the basement playroom.

“Daddy! So glad you could make it,” Ava his oldest said holding out her hand for a fist bump. Shocked by not only this very unusual gesture but also her very unusual costume, which appeared to be his favourite Blue Jays jersey which hung all the way to the floor like a dress on her, he held his hand out to bump her little fist back. “Have a seat,” she gestured towards the bean bag chairs which were set in front of the girls’ little television set.

Still wondering what was up Jeff made his way over the hot pink bean bags and had a seat. That’s when Lizzy, his younger daughter, appeared in the doorway carrying a dish of pretzels and a package of pepperoni sticks. Setting the snacks on the tea table that had been dragged beside the bean bags she asked, “want a brewski Daddy?”

Totally bewildered Jeff stared at her a moment taking in her ensemble which consisted of his old high school baseball jersey and cap, and nodded. Turning she walked to their toy kitchen and opening up the toy fridge took out two cans of root beer, handing him one, she plopped down in the empty bean bag chair taking a sip from the other. Ava flipped on the TV and the room filled with the sounds of a baseball game. Sitting on the floor by Jeff’s feet she reached up and grabbed a handful of pretzels from the bowl.
“I hear their star pitcher is back from his shoulder injury,” she stated munching away.
“Yes,” Lizzy nodded. “I hope he throws a no-hitter today.”
“I doubt that will happen,” Ava turned to look at her sister. “The team they are playing against has two players in the top ten for batting averages. What do you think Daddy?”
Jeff stared at his daughters, “I think I’d like to know who you two sports fans are and what you did with my princess daughters?”
Lizzy and Ava laughed. “It’s us Daddy!” Lizzy cried. “We just thought you might like playing baseball fans instead of princesses today.”
“You know since it’s Father’s Day,” Ava added.

Jeff’s heart actually hurt with the amount of love he was feeling for his girls at that moment. “Come here you two and give me a Father’s Day hug.” The girls giggled as they climbed onto their daddy’s lap and wrapped their arms around his neck. Several hugs and a few kisses later they settled with Ava in the crook of his left arm and Lizzy in the right one and watched a few innings of the baseball game together. When Carrie peeked into the room an hour later she found the three of them cheering as they watched a player on Jeff’s favourite team cross home base.

“How’s the tea party going?” she asked.
“Best tea party ever!” Jeff said. “Best Father’s Day ever too!”