Last month I went to a playdate at a friend’s house, it was one of the first times I’d gone out by myself with all three kids and I knew that even if all of us ended up having tears, her house was a safe place to do that. She poured me a cup of coffee, held my baby and my girls ran off with her girls and I didn’t see them for the next hour. Another mom and her three showed up, I had never met her before but we quickly found plenty to talk about. Mostly about books and finding the many books we had in common.
I left that gathering feeling completely filled up and with this phrase stuck in my head- play to your strengths.
And I’ve been thinking about it every since, reminding myself of it when I see new projects I want to take on or sweet ideas to incorporate into our homeschool life.
Play to Your Strengths
My friend opened her house, poured coffee and served a no-fuss lunch to eight (nine, if we’re counting the newborn) children and their mamas. It was loud at times, there was much peacemaking and slight chaos. That kind of thing stresses me out. I want to be better at opening my home to lots of little children and just let the mess go but it’s hard for me. The other friend is a fantastic conversationalist. I love meeting new people but I feel awkward coming up with small talk to lead to deeper conversations. There were no awkward pauses and the three of us could have talked all day together, despite two of us having just met.
I brought a fruit rainbow, complete with marshmallow clouds and gold coins, it was Saint Patrick’s Day after all. If I had more time, I would have made the marshmallows from scratch. It’s who I am. I love to feed people and I love to make it beautiful. It’s one of my strengths.
This week I had a few friends over a tea party. A tea party I’ve been wanting to have for months. There were scones and berries and cream. There was lemon curd, marmalade and creme fraiche. There was plenty of English breakfast tea and plenty of sugar spilled by little hands. My girls and their friends went wild with their dress up trunk after filling up on chocolate oat birds nest cookies. It was exactly what I love to do. Feed people and make it beautiful. We picked the only two blooming daffodils along with a few pansies and dandelions to decorate the table. It was pretty and the food was tasty but my biggest takeaway was what I learned from my friend weeks ago.
Play to your strengths but also don’t stop learning new things. My house was a bit of a mess afterwards (obviously), we all retreated for an hour of quiet time and supper was almost more scones but I was completely filled up. I fed people, I made it pretty and I opened my house.
I’d love to hear what your strengths are and how you keep learning new things!