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A Magical Afternoon

by Joy Caroline W.
(Cumming, GA, USA)

For my sister Katie's sixth birthday, May 2011, we gave her a fairy tea party.

Katie had been talking for years about how she wanted a fairy tea party for her birthday.

We had decided to give her a tea party for her fourth birthday, but then, just a few weeks before the occasion, my mother died.

It was very sudden and we--my father, brothers, sisters and I--were all so shocked and sad.

I was fourteen then, and started doing most of the cooking and cleaning. My dad had always been at work all day, so he didn't know how my mother did things.

This April, Katie started talking about her upcoming birthday. "I want to have a fairy tea party," she announced cheerfully to me. "Joy, you and Isabel and Grace can all come, but Nathan, Daddy, and Stephen can't. And of course my other friends not in the family can come, too."

So Katie and our other sisters, four-year-old Isabel and eight-year-old Grace, helped me prepare food for the party: miniature sandwiches and cookies, colorful candies, punch for the girls who didn't like tea.

The day arrived; it was a breezy Saturday afternoon in late May.

Katie had recently met a girl I did not know, and she would be coming over to the tea party.

I did not even know her name; for some strange, unknown reason, Katie would not tell me.

The doorbell rang. Katie's new friend. I opened the door with Katie, Isabel, and Grace right behind me, bouncing excitedly around.

The little girl on the porch reminded me so much of someone--the dark, curly hair, the flashing hazel eyes, the slender build. But who?

"Hello," Katie's friend's mother said. "I'm Cindy; you must be Joy. I hope we're not too early for the tea party, but Olivia was so excited."

I gasped. Olivia--my mother's name. That was it--my mother. Olivia was the exact image of my mother.

I turned to see Katie watching me intently, and tears sprang to my eyes. This was why she had not told me Olivia's name.

She knew how much Olivia looked like our mother, and how touched I would be by it.

We had the most wonderful fairy tea party ever. Even though I am almost seventeen, I enjoyed myself more than ever before.

And it seemed that Olivia--my mother--was there, watching over her sweet daughter Kaitlyn Ann as she blew out the six candles on her miniature pink cake.

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