“In America, all you would do is make a card for your grandma and grandpa,” stated my daughter.
This came about when we were having a conversation about whether or not she was glad to be back in Poland.
Two days ago, her class performed Little Red Riding Hood, the play, did two dances, and sang multiple songs for the grandpas and grandmas in the audience.
My daughter gave up a visit to the States so that she could be there for this special day, even though her grandparents were thousands upon thousands of miles and an ocean and a continent away in Arizona and California respectively.
You have to understand, my daughter feels Polican, as she says. Polish and American, and she speaks Pinglish. For Polish and English.
We are so above and beyond grateful to God that she feels this way. We have instilled in her the utmost to bloom where planted, and we are planted by God in the country of Poland.
And, for that very reason, my daughter attends Polish school and participates in all celebrations that Poland holds dear. We love her school and all that it does.
You need to understand, as well, that our daughter’s school is extremely small. It is a K-8th grade school that had its gymnasium built by the European Union, and, until this past fall, had absolutely no playground.
Before the playground was built, my daughter was asked by some friends and family what she did during recess.
Well, the first thing you should know is that my daughter does not technically have recess. She has 5-minute breaks between her 45-minute classes. Otherwise, her school day is only the hours that she has class.
That can mean that her “school day” is for 3 hours one day or 5 hours on her longest day—and that is only because she goes in for a 45-minute session of PSL (Polish as a Second Language). Otherwise her school day is 4 hours.
At first, such short days were huge adjustments. But as the year went on, we have grown to really love the short school days. It gives us an opportunity to enroll Adelyne in multiple activities but it doesn’t take us until bedtime to complete them.
This is what she participates in during the typical week:
Mondays—horse lessons and swimming. This is her late night.
Tuesdays—nothing but play.
Wednesdays—French lessons and then we swing by our office where she has her “library”
Thursdays—Nothing but play with her best friend! Thursdays she only has 3 hours of school.
Fridays—Dance after school. At the school. Very convenient and she loves it (it is an outside company that comes in)
Youth group is a Friday night event.
Anyhow—back to the recess question. Adelyne was asked, “What do you do during recess since you don’t have a playground?” She responded, “We run and jump and skip!”
I loved that. Even in simplicity, children find great joys. Sometimes I believe that we try to incorporate too much (I am just as guilty as the next) into their lives when all children really need is dirt. And like we all heard growing up, “Dirt don’t hurt!”
This week as we celebrated the grandparents that were able to attend, I thought of the spectacular assembly the teachers prepared and the students prepared for and I realized—this was very special. So special that it would not have taken place in the States.
First of all, to be very fair, in the States, most people don’t even live near their grandparents. Very few people live where they were born in the States. That is just the reality there. In fact, people will gladly move where they will find work. Even if it means hours upon hours away from their families.
In Poland, people tend to live (generally speaking it is still very true to this day) where they were born. Therefore, they have large amounts of relatives right nearby—including grandparents. Poland has yet to become a very transient society. Yes, many migrate outside of Poland for work. But, for those Poles remaining in Poland, a very large population still live very near in proximity to where they were born.
This is EXTREMELY evident at Dzien Dziadek i Babcia. The auditorium was FILLED with grandparents. It was such a blessing to see.
Having a daughter that lives thousands upon thousands of miles away from her grandparents, I loved that as I glanced around at the event, there was a sea of elderly faces and hair of wisdom. And oh my! They were all dressed up to a T and just as proud as could be as they watched their posterity perform just for them.
It was really special.
And Adelyne got to experience it because we are in Poland.
Oh—and dance in it!
So, today, I give to you my daughter in a super adorable dance that she got to participate in for Grandparents Day in Poland.
Her stats on the day of this event: Adelyne Marguerite; age 8; 3rd Class; Grandparents’ Day Celebration ballerina (in the light pink skirt). Enjoy!
If you are a grandpa or grandma, no matter where you are in the world, we celebrate you!
Here is the link to dance number 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygYbewb2BoY&feature=youtu.be