Every tea party should start with a lady and end with a prince. And that is exactly what happened to military families at the White House May 8.
As part of Joining Forces, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden invited women in uniform to bring their mom or their kids (or both!) for a Mother’s Day tea at the White House.
It was one of those events that make tourists and Washingtonians smile that secret I-love-Amercica smile. How could anyone help it?
The sidewalk outside the White House was full of women in sharp uniforms from every service. Little girls skipped down 15th Street in white Easter flats or black Mary Janes with ruffled socks. Little boys shuffled along in clip-on ties. Grandmothers floated a little as they walked up to the White House. I swear every single person was having a good hair day.
Both Dr. Biden and Mrs. Obama thanked the 170 members of the audience in the East Room of the White House for their service. Mrs. Obama recognized each of the branch winners of the Military Spouse of the Year award. Then she quoted new Military Spouse of the Year Alicia Hinds Ward as saying,
“Empower someone and watch them soar.”“That what military moms do every day,” said Mrs. Obama. “I hope you know your country appreciates you. They really do.”
The 50 kids in attendance escorted Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden to the State Dining Room to make edible dough necklaces for their moms with the White House Head Pastry Chef.They put together bags of baked chips. They assembled bouquets for their moms with the White House Chief Flora Designer.
And then Prince Harry joined them. “Surprise!” said Mrs. Obama. "Prince Harry wanted to be here to personally thank you for your service.” He greeted family members individually in the Blue Room.
All the way home I couldn't stop thinking of the kids at those tables. Having a mom in uniform means so many things to those kids -- her career, their security, their pride, their family, their sacrifice.
It’s lovely that for those kids it also meant a once in a lifetime kind of day. A day spent at the White House sipping tea from gold-rimmed china. Nibbling little sandwiches and cookies. Saving the white chocolate glass slipper to take home. Painting a necklace next to a prince.
That is a pretty good day in anyone’s book. I was all the way to 14th Street before I realized I was still smiling, thankful that I was one of the Circle of Moms bloggers who got to witness such a great military day in America.