I set up the table with scrapbook paper place mats, china dishes, glass glasses, a Starbucks frappucino drink glass as a vase with crepe myrtle blooms in it, new school year cards for each girl, a little gift for each, and a plate of homemade Snickerdoodles and store bought chocolate chip cookies.
When the girls came home we sat at the table together eating cookies, sipping unsweetened iced tea with lemon and chatting about their day. They each had a turn discussing the day's events and we listened as the other told the story of their adventure. Once finished with our tea and cookies, we cleared the table and sorted through the folders and papers sent home. Both girls had homework and they sat across from each other and worked carefully and thoughtfully on their assignments.
Before bedtime Lily told me that she loved our tea for three and that she almost shed a tear during it. I wasn't sure if she was teasing me (as she often does about my frequent emotional displays) or if she really felt that way. So, I asked her and she kissed me on the cheek and said---"I really meant it, mommy".