The little black shoes

It’s the eve of St. Nicholas Day. The Maiden’s shoes are outside her bedroom door.

Actually, normally a pair of waiting shoes isn’t an indication that anyone is going to swoop down from on high except an angry Mommy. Clothes, leotards, books, dolls, hairclips, and other little girl paraphernalia tend to collect in the hall, and I’ve yet to meet the saint–or child–or saintly child, but seriously, is that even possible?–who is interested in doing anything but trampling over them.

But tonight really is St. Nicholas Eve, so for once the presence of the shoes is legit. This year her tap shoes will have the honor of hosting the saint. I have a strong suspicion that her decision was less motivated by a desire to show St. Nicholas the cool shininess of the little black shoes than because she didn’t feel like walking three feet to her dresser drawer and putting them away after dance class.

Still, I can’t complain.

St. Nicholas, on the other hand–that’s a different story. St. Nicholas would love to fill them with coal. However, St. Nicholas thinks that the Maiden did do a good job in her dancing this weekend. Also, St. Nicholas doesn’t want to be wakened by disappointed caterwauls at 5 am. St. Nicholas is doubly aware that even being woken brutally early is not quite so painful as being in bed next to Mommy after she’s been woken brutally early.

Hence, the shoe loot will be good. Specifically, it will be designed so that, when the saint and his wife are woken at a disgusting hour by a bouncingly excited girl, they can mumble incoherently not-so-saintly stuff about “go away” and “stop bothering us” and “go back to bed” and–the one which might actually work–“go play with your new stuff.”

Do you do St. Nicholas Day with your kids?


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