Last November, my children gave me a gift that sent me back to my childhood; they gave me an old-fashioned tea kettle. It immediately spun me back twenty-some years to my childhood, reminding me of all the collections of baskets and copper my mother hung, strewn to the ceilings, decorative and plentiful. I recall hand-washing copper-bottomed cookware that we’d use daily, preparing meals, hanging them up on a rack or embedded into each other in a bottom cabinet, how meticulously shiny they were, and how hard I used to scrub to make the copper perfect after use, back before anyone had to worry about non-stick this or that.
Now, I have this beautiful and classic copper-bottomed tea kettle that sits on my stove and reminds me of my mother caring for me while I was busy being sick as a kid, preparing me some water for tea besides some packets of soup, because the packet-soup was chock-filled with salt and it felt good on my angry, sore throat.
This kettle reminded me of how loud it would call to us when it was ready, back when I was little it reminded me of a train’s whistle, with it’s loud siren of a “wooo” noise, steaming up my mothers glasses and the kitchen, our thirsty mugs with tea bags eagerly waiting with a porcelain sugar bowl nearby and frolicky teaspoon excited to dance a hot dance.
Now, I get to prepare my daughter’s tea, longing to be iced for her enjoyment, and save a bit aside for myself, to sip some chai or chamomile, all while overseeing my children, preparing them tea or soup, taking care of them, while using a similar kettle as my mother once used to care for me.
And despite my warming drink, it gives me goose bumps to relive those moments now as a mother.
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