My daughter thinks she has a boyfriend who is several years older than her. However, I’m not sure the boy agrees.
His family comes from Poland and it’s a running joke now between his mom and me that we’re following each other around town. I swear, every time I’m doing a shop, I run into Anna. We always have a quick chat and I pick her brain about Polish foods, language, and tradition. After one of our Tesco meet ups, I asked if there were any special Christmas traditions she did with her boys that were uncommon in England. She mentioned they celebrated Mikołajki or Polish Mini-Christmas. We made a date for December 5th so I could document this special family tradition.
I arrived after school while the boys were having a snack and watching Paw Patrol in Polish. Anna explained they are able to stream Polish tv so the kids can still hear the language despite living so far away. I couldn’t help but be a little envious of these guys. I was stuck listening to a stack of cassette tapes filled with Norwegian children’s songs as a kid. This was back in the dark ages before Netflix and the internet.
After their snack, the boys got to work shining their shoes. Anna was way more calm and brave than me as she let the two-year-old have free reign with his sponge. Had I tried this with my kids, I’m confident my entire kitchen would have been flooded. The boys took their job quite seriously, scrubbing out every last fleck of dirt. Once they had been inspected and approved by the boss (we all know Moms are the boss), the shoes were placed by the front door; ready to be filled. I’m fairly confident they were greeted with a happy surprise the next morning.
I’m such a sucker for traditions particularly during Christmastime. As we were planning this session, Anna said her eldest (also known as my daughter’s boyfriend) had specifically requested that they celebrate Mikołajki as he remembered doing it in year’s past. It was such a simple activity but one that obviously had made an impact on him already. I hope the boys will be able to someday share these photos with their children as they pass on this lovely Christmas tradition.