Amelie's Birthday Tea Party

January 21st, today is Amelie’s Birthday.

This weekend, we honored her birthday with the most fabulous, indescribably gorgeous tea party. Simply put, I was overjoyed. My dream is to have a tea party every year on her birthday, as fancy as can possibly be.

Yet, despite my desire to begin an annual tradition, I honestly didn’t have the bandwidth to plan anything this year. The loss of Amelie hit me hard in January—a month I haven’t been fond of anyway b/c its after the holidays, cold and, until I had Amelita, nothing exciting ever happened in January except the stark reminder that I was yet another year older and really hadn’t accomplished much, and is now a month I particularly dread even more—so I spent the majority of the month in a slow downward spiral towards a bottomless pit of grief. Last week I struggled to get out of bed, barely worked out, had no energy, could barely stop crying, some days almost uncontrollably, then cry at the drop of a hat, drank every night, bailed on drs appointments and on volunteering in Brave’s school, and even got him to school late one day, only to then come home and fall right back into bed with my clothes on. It was one of those weeks. Hubbs was out of town and I had the space to grieve, and boy did I…

Fast forward to Sunday. I woke up….excited. I felt the tingly anticipation of a pre-party buzz, and was once again reminded of how lucky I am that there are people in my life who, without mincing words, give a shit. They truly do.

I had asked my friend Melissa—a fellow Team wife and darling woman with a gentle spirit—to host this party for me. I knew two things: 1. it HAD to happen, and 2. I knew I could NOT do it. Had I not mustered the courage to ask Melissa, I would have gone through Amelie’s birthday a self-loathing mess. Thankfully, she happily accepted. Melissa and our friend Dominique (another equally lovely woman who is reminds me of the American version of Duchess Kate) hosted the party at their country club, an oasis tucked among the hills of Del Mar, where the noises of cars and the roaring freeway are nonexistent, and the only ‘chatter’ are the sounds of birds, water fountains and rustling trees. It’s a slice of heaven that I never tire of and transcended me out of my misery.

The party was so appropriately delicately GIRLY—all things Amelie would have LOVED. I adored every second of it and, frankly, had to be forced to leave.

The food, the tea, the hot chocolate (a little champagne for mommies), the flowers, it was all so beautifully put together. We sat congregated around one large Mad-Hatter-esque table, exactly the way a tea party should be. (I may, or may not, have eaten two scones with cream, I shall not confess.) Even the big man came sporting a tie and a smile at times (he barely spoke all morning, except to grumble and snap, feeling the weight of Amelie’s birthday on his heart), but here he was, at this lovely little tea party in pink, knowing it was his duty to attend. Naturally, Brave wore his best suit (yeah, it’s his only suit).

I really can’t describe my gratitude for it. Words often fall short when describing grief and gratitude, our English language (or at least, my limited use of it) fails to fully capture the two of the most powerful things humans can experience….and this day was no exception. This day it was Melissa and Dominique, and all the attendees my incredible TRIBE, who saved me. [After the tea party we went to Starbucks! We were simply not ready to retire our fine attire or let the festivities end.]

When I initially walked into the room my breath left me and I struggled to keep the tears at bay. It was magical. [The planning of this party, keep in mind, I had absolutely nothing to do with. I know, I’m lame. They never even asked a single question and I did literally nothing except invite a few friends, so I had no idea what it would be like and I didn’t care, as long as some event was taking place, I would be content. So I basically asked: ‘hey throw a fancy party for my daughter whom you barely knew and I’ll do nothing except show up with all my friends and their kids.’ That’s the kind of friends I have and, frankly, do not deserve. See what I mean now about having a hard time adequately describing my gratitude?]

Amelie’s Birthday tea party was the PERFECT way to truly HONOR her memory, something I realized I don’t really now how to do most days.

Yet that day, upon seeing this tea party room so soft and perfect in it’s effeminate splendor, I felt a warmth enter my chest and said to myself, “Finally. This is her. This is Lulu.”