Alas, today is the Feast of Saint Nicholas, which means that Sinterklaas has gotten back onto his steamship and sailed back to Spain. Dag, Sinterklaas! Tot de volgende jaar.
Yesterday evening was Sinterklaasavond AKA pakjesavond (literally ‘package evening’, i.e. a time to give gifts), which doubled as the culmination to Sinterklaas’s visit to the Netherlands. So the boys had a half day of school yesterday, complete with a visit from the Sint himself. Everyone went bananas (although some kids were understandably frightened of the old guy). And in the midst of the loaded Zwarte Piet issue, the boys’ school featured Regenboog Piet (‘Rainbow Piet’) and everyone just rolled with it. Their school is awesome in so many ways…
On what seemed like day 57 of Sinterklaas, Julian and Spencer said, ‘I hope Sinterklaas brings us a book tonight!’ Lo and behold, ‘Sinterklaas’, in all his infinite wisdom, had actually gotten books for the boys. What a champ.
Suffice it to say that the boys were thrilled (I should note that they were also thrilled when they received socks during week 1).*
In any event, this particular gift gives in so many ways:
(i) It exposes the boys to the work of a great contemporary artist, writer and philosopher
(ii) It helps them understand the full scope and power of their imaginations
(iii) It makes story time extra amazing for Jen and me
After a few days of lots of reading, the boys have grown to admire the naughtiness of Calvin (and Hobbes), and their interest in dinosaurs seems to be growing. Maybe the next gift should be a time machine…or perhaps a transmogrifier.**
*Jen and I (like many other parents) have settled on a one gift per weekend cycle during the roughly three weeks when Sinterklaas is visiting the Netherlands from his home in Spain (long story).
** i.e. a cardboard box.