Tuesday, June 01, 2010

a child's day

One holiday from my childhood that I have great nostalgia for is June 1st. In postwar Poland this was the Day of the Child.

Oh sure, it was a time for gifts – typically a chocolate bar or some sweet indulgence, but it was also an acknowledgment that kids need a break from the usual parental patter and discipline. On this day you could assert yourself. Go to the park, eat ice cream, wear your favorite blouse or ribbon in your hair. (Braids with ribbon pleated throughout were common among school-aged girls).

I suppose one could argue that kids these days don’t need even more attention – that they boss us around plenty and they wear whatever they darn please especially once they pass the age of two. Ever try to put a pair of jeans on a preschooler who is hellbent on wearing dresses every single day of her life?

Still, June 1st was such a happy time! Children’s Day, followed soon by summer vacation (during which no child I knew did anything productive ever, as summer jobs and summer school were unknown entities in Poland), with nights that never quite turned dark and days that never had enough hours for play...

Yeah, June 1st. Initiating the season of child’s play.

Today, I had an early morning appointment downtown, providing an excuse to stop after at the coffee shop by this lake...


...where, of course, it being June 1st, I paid attention to the little ones...


After? Oh, you know. Grading at the farmette.

With a break and a country walk. Where not children, but the deer play.