HIGH TEA FOR HIGH TIMES
In celebration of graduating high school, Rosemary welcomed some of her oldest friends, and some of her newer friends, to drop by and share in one of her greatest passions … tea.
For two days, Rose baked cakes and cookies and scones and madelines and macaroons and prepared lemon curd and clotted cream to serve with Hot Cinnamon, Earl Gray, and “Paris” teas.
As tall men with low voices and elegant women with firm opinions trickled in throughout the day, this amazing bunch of new adults nibbled on whimsical confections while talking, laughing, and sipping from grandma’s delicate tea cups.
The parents, sequestered in the living room, marveled at how quickly this all sped by. It seems like yesterday these commanding adults in our dining room were gambling and building fires at Pirate Camp, or returning from school outings covered in mud, or putting on elaborate shows in the basement, or whispering teen-aged secrets in Rose’s pale peach bedroom.
Sofie, whom Rose met in a nanny share when they were each 11 months old, used to play with Rose under the dining room table. The two girls – not yet walking or talking – would speak baby gibberish and laugh uproariously at what we did not know. Then the two would get into little tiffs – again, over what we did not know. Now, Sofie is a world-class singer and a world-conscience woman. Though no longer under our dining room table, Rose and Sofie have maintained a friendship (and secret language) that has made them more sisters than friends.
We met Corinne at Rose’s third birthday party when Mark, her father and our new neighbor from across the street, came over to say Corinne had entered this world, sharing the same birthday as Rose. Entering 10th grade this fall, Corinne has blossomed as a budding artist and a poetic writer. And in many ways, Corinne has been a little sister to Rose, older sister weighing in on younger (though very wise) sister’s quandaries and challenges.
Then there’s Hadley, whom Rose met at the age of five in kindergarten at The Valley School. I remember the time that Hadley and Rose put on a play in the basement. When Hadley asked what I thought, I (perhaps too honestly) said, “Hadley, it has no beginning, middle and end. There’s no story! You guys are just flailing around.” Well, as an award-winning young filmmaker, Hadley has nailed story. He’s at a film festival in Bulgaria as I write this receiving the top honor for his film The Talk. I would say Hadley is Rosemary’s adoptive brother.
Olivia came into our lives when Rose was merely five and Olivia was the ripe old age of six. Visiting from New Jersey, Mom Abby decided Seattle was a right nice place to raise her kids. That was good for the girls, because Abby and her clan felt like family (we had known Abby since 1991) and it just seemed right to have them close by. ‘Liv is entering sophomore year at Alleghany and her tenacious athletic drive is seeping into her whole fearsome approach on life and it’s exciting to watch!
Augusta. Rose and ‘Gusta met in seventh grade at our Halloween party. Rapidly becoming sophisticated young feminists together, Augusta writes, eventually “Rose and I became best friends, talking all night. Then I came with you guys to Vashon for the 4th of July and we have been BFFs ever since.” Augusta’s powerful presence has enabled her to become a commanding speaker and actress as well as becoming state champion in speech two years in a row. She’s a damn good self-taught photographer and editor too.
I wanna say Samantha came on board in their sophomore year as she and Rose worked on Hadley’s crazy films – throwing bodies out of second-story windows, chasing ghosts, and helping little children battle bad parents. Samantha has become an artist and a filmmaker in her own rite, screening films at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth and through the Seattle Academy film program.
Then there’s Tessa, who filtered into our world during their junior year. Tessa wows on stage – on the board of Seattle’s only all-youth theater company and starring in “a gazillion plays.”
Like Tessa, Sinclair really floated into our lives during junior year. Sinclair and Rose are equally fond of cooking and literature, but Sinclair takes the stage at … taking the stage. She’s taken center stage on a gerjillion-million stages (including SAAS’s). That, and the lucky little devil is a fearsome world traveler!
Perhaps her “newest” friend, Zola, Rose met while modeling. Zola’s free spirit and fashion focus has inspired Rosemary to hone her own distinctive style (Augusta helped too!) – which I would describe as a flirtatious librarian look. Oh, and Zola taught Rose how to make a great pie crust … that’s no small thing in Rose Land!
I could go on and on and on about the wonderful kids Rose has grown up with. But your patience and general editing dictate I draw the line somewhere.
Nevertheless, I would be remiss if I forgot to mention Rosemary’s teachers, who have been instrumental in her (and many other students’) intellectual development, tirelessly preparing these kids for the next step in life. April, Alison, Jason, Emily, all the teachers at Seattle Academy (hey, all good educators everywhere), I thank you. You are some of our world’s most important pioneers, crusaders and heroes
Looking at these kids – nay, these adults – I find hope in our future. While the daily news reports on youth violence and social ruin at every corner, I tear up gazing into the unsung well of intelligence, compassion and commitment focused on a better world that is fomenting under our very noses.
Pictured from left to right: Through the looking glass; Rose & Olivia; Samantha; Tessa & Sofie; Augusta, Rania & Bella; Sinclair; Zola; Rose & Hadley; Rosie holding court.