The above photos are of the dance that Adelyne and 3 others performed while 2 of the students sang the song. Adelyne was so excited—but she couldn’t believe that she had to dance with a BOY! Ah the fun of being a kid.
This dance was choreographed by Adelyne and her friends. They were so excited to create a dance and perform their very own creation for the grandparents. They did a FANTASTIC job and looked as cute as could be in the process (these are also Adelyne’s best friends at school).
Here the headmaster of the school is welcoming the grandparents of the 1 and 3 grade classes to the presentation (It was the 1st and 3rd grade classes that performed).
The students that were not in the dances were in the play Little Red Riding Hood (especially fitting since there is a grandma in the play, right?). They were phenomenal and OH SO CUTE!
Guess who was the biggest fan of the entire show? JOSEPHINE! She watched almost the entire play and the dances and all of the songs like this:
Anyhow—hope you enjoyed the photos. If you didn’t have a chance to watch the YouTube videos of the dances, I hope that you’ll click on the link and go right to them. They are as cute as can be.
(Of course, my camerawork is a bit shaky considering I am also monitoring a very mobile 1 year old at the same time)
“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!
She was 15 and made a choice. She hopped in the car of the handsome man and they took off. They went to a county that permitted their love. And they got hitched.
Yep, that’s how the legacy of my family was started. My grandma, Marguerite Florence, married her handsome miner, Charles Emerson. And although they were but babies, they married.
And they made it. 54 years, in fact, until he passed away—a great man with a great legacy and so many years of joy and laughter.
But life was not always as easy for Tootsie as that hop in the car or the signature on those papers.
My grandma watched her first beautiful baby boy born. She saw him grow. She loved him and his smile and laughter and beauty. And then one day he was gone.
And their hearts were broken.
Then came along their second baby…sick. And death claimed him but not before he also claimed their hearts. She calls him Baby Boy.
Two. Gone. Sorrow was a cloud that hung over their hearts, lives, home.
And then they welcomed a beautiful baby with big blue eyes…And he thrived.
A daughter followed, my mother.
Then the War. The War that men went off to fight, leaving behind the strongest generation of women. Women that had to care for the house, work the fields, get the jobs, and raise the children.
And, ironically, the War that was the battle for the great continent that my husband and I now reside upon. If my grandpa was alive, I wonder how he would reminisce about that fact? That he fought for the people and the land where we now live?
He returned safely and worked his remaining days as a copper miner in Bisbee, Arizona. Until 1991 when God called him home.
Now Tootsie, the toughest woman I know has a new title to her name…Widow. The man that she met, married, and loved since she was 1 day 15…gone. But her spirit remained strong.
Fast forward to 2006.
We had a little girl, and we named her Adelyne Marguerite after my amazing grandma. And boy, my daughter genetically inherited her great-grandma’s spicy spirit. And we’re thankful. In fact, there are times when we call Adelyne “Little Toots”!
Zoom again…It’s 2010.
We’re in Poland, and we lost our baby in pregnancy. And my mom told me my grandma just cried and cried upon hearing that news. If anyone understood the loss of your very own heartbeat, it is my grandma. At this point in her life, she has now buried 3 of her 4 children-her only living son has passed away too.
Many people said really nice things—but she knew the hollowness of losing your flesh and blood. And it was something, a very sad something, that has bonded us beyond the fact that our daughter was given her name.
And once again, we move forward to 2012.
Our son. He entered death and yet was given back to us. He was 2 months old. And our lives felt as if dump trucks had been thrown on top of us.
But he lived…God graciously gave him back to us. We do not know why—but we will never stop thanking him for this gift of Maxwell’s life.
And, once again, my grandma cried. Not because we lost Maxwell, but because he lived.
My daughter may have been named after my grandma, but it’s my son whose spirit fights on like my grandma—whose spirit that looks at adversity and difficulty in the eyes and says, “I’m going to walk on…I will persevere.”
Grandma Tootsie and Maxwell Loren—they know death. They know difficulty. And yet they know victory in Jesus. And they smile.
Today, my son walks up to her. Their unspoken bond is great. And he, Maxwell, stares. And then he smiles.
He smiles as if to say, “Thank you.”
“Thank you for being strong. For carrying on.”
“I am not a replacement of your life and your losses. I am a piece. A piece of your life because although sorrow was at times overwhelming, you held on. And joy has come in the morning.”
And she smiles at him.
And then he laughs.
And she laughs.
And the bond they share, the bond between a 91-year-old widower and a 15-month-old baby boy, is great.
Unspoken—unless smiles and laughter count as words.