Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 3: My Wise Little Owl

People like her are the reason I have a tea house in the first place: Maya, the exquisite eldest daughter of Makiko and Scott, has been coming here since she was two years old. I have watched in wonder as she has grown from a solemn toddler to the day a few months ago when she bashfully came and asked me for a job.

And now Maya comes in with her mom or dad on Saturday mornings and fills the sugar bowls and stocks the Splenda and straightens the kids' part of the bookcase and makes sure that everything looks neat and tidy.

Maya is also a budding thespian and in this year's production of Sleeping Beauty, the annual children's play, she was the Owl. She gave me her free ticket for the Thursday production, and I saw her in full costume and make-up. "Whoo, Whoooo?" she intoned, never missing where she was supposed to come in.

And I was thinking about it: she was very aptly cast. Maya is a thoughtful little individual, earnest, observant, speaking when she needs to, fascinating. Her watchful eyes look for things to do and she does them without being told.

She wants to learn and eagerly absorbs what is explained to her. Just as an example, when I would say "Thank you" to her, she would say "Uh huh," or "Ya," in response. One day I told her that as she grows older and has to deal with people more, the preferred response is "You're welcome."

The Saturday after we had the "You're Welcome Chat," as I think of it, she took me out to the dining room and pointed out what she had accomplished that morning. She showed me the filled sugar bowls: "Excellent!" I said. Then she showed me the tidied bookcase: "Perfect!" She told me how she had checked the rest rooms to make sure there were enough paper towels: "Well done!" I enthused. I noticed that with each commendation I gave her, she drooped just a little bit more. Finally I looked at Makiko, who whispered to me, "Say thank you!" So when Maya pointed out how she had remembered to fill the jelly bean mug, I said "Thank you, Maya!"

Her whole demeanour changed. "You're welcome!" she beamed and gave me a hug. "I've been practising all week!" she confided. She has never missed a beat since ... 

And today is this self-possessed, magical girl's birthday. She and her friends came to the TH for Pink Tea and strawberry cheeesecake. She wore the TH birthday hat and blew out her candles with evident joy.

Happy birthday, dear Owl. Your contribution to the tea house is a gift to all of us!


  1. What happened with your last pair of Saturday sugar bowl girls? Did they get tall enough to start waiting on tables! You and your TeaHouse keep finding new ways to be a blessing to Three Hills!

  2. Sarah's parents are too busy this fall ... however, Sarah was at Maya's party so I got to see her again!

  3. Thank you for the beautiful tea party! Maya had 'the best day ever' and we are blessed to call you our friend. Thank you for being in Maya's life. what an amazing gift you are to our little girl. You have the most wonderful gift of making people feel loved and welcome. I know people keep coming back to the tea house not only for the tasty treats and the beautiful atmosphere, but for your warm welcoming hugs. Glad none of the beautiful china tea cups got broken with 10 rambunctious little girls *sigh of relief*

  4. Kiko! It didn't even occur to me to worry - kids have never broken china in the TH. With any luck, Maya will be my longest-working employee; she told me she was going to work here "for the rest of my life"; I'm hoping that she'll work for at least the rest of mine ... Thanks for your faithfulness in bringing her every week. You demonstrate commitment and discipline to her in remarkable ways. Besides which, that way I get to visit with you as well! xo

  5. What a little sweetheart she is! Just that smile would light up the whole TH!

    I am sure enjoying this month of hearing from you every day. :)


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