When Alicia started kindergarten, I took her to school. The first day they had a gathering for the start of the school year. I stayed and watched. I was new to Waldorf at the time, so I didn’t know what to expect.
There wasn’t anything surprising at the start. All the children came in and sat on the right side by grades starting with second grade and going all the way back to the eighth-graders. The new first graders were led in by their kindergarten teachers and sat in the front on the left side. Then it was welcome back, introductions of the staff and other announcements. After that came the Rose Ceremony.
The names of the new first graders were read off. As each name was read the child would get up and come up on stage where there was a little wooden bridge. They would cross the bridge and shake hands with their new teacher. Then one of the eighth-grade students would hand them a rose and lead them to the seats on front of the right side that was set aside for the first-graders.
It was fun to watch the different children and how they approached it. Some strode up confidently, their steps on the wooden bridge ringing out for all to hear. Some were hesitant, not sure of exactly where to go. But they all made it across the bridge and into first grade.
The next year when Alicia made the trip across the bridge and into first grade I was there to see it. And I started coming back to see the Rose Ceremony. Without realizing that I was building a streak, I was there for the start of every year while Alicia was at the school. And then every year while Andrew attended. And then every year while Debbie was teaching. And now, so far, every year for Debbie’s former class.
I think the children also sense there is some special meaning with the Rose Ceremony. When Andrew was born later in Alicia’s first grade year, it wasn’t too long afterwards that she figured that she would be in eighth grade when he was in first grade. The first thing that she said about it was, “I can give Andrew the rose on his first day of school.” And so, she did.
And so, I’m planning on being back tomorrow for the start of the school year and my twenty-fourth Rose Ceremony.
Tim Kane's memories, musings and updates.