Teri has been a Meadowbrook parent for six years. Here she reflects on her own transition as her daughter joins first grade. The beautiful photos are by Monica Rodgers, another MWS parent.
Yesterday, a child came out to wander
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star
And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game.
This song rings in my ear as I think about my daughter entering into 1st grade. I am caught in that parent conundrum of being excited that she is growing up and becoming more independent, yet wanting her to crawl onto my lap and ask me to make it all better. My daughter, Lyn, formally known as the girl called Evie while in kindergarten, goes to the Meadowbrook Waldorf School. I admit it; I do love the school, with all its ancient traditions, hippy-esque ways, and attention to beauty. But what I love most is how it honors transition and growth. Kids are given some serious attention when they complete, accomplish or reach another milestone in their development. And what’s more, the parents are given the same opportunities to pause and appreciate the growth of their children.
The Rose Ceremony is a special part of Opening Day at the Meadowbrook Waldorf School. Parents gather with their kids on the first day of school in a clump while Miss Su sings out that it is time to start the year. We all find our quiet and wait. She introduces the administration, then the teachers. The teachers call out each of their students’ names for them to come forward and join the school. The children leave their parents’ side and walk, run, jump, skip or slink to shake their teacher’s hand. The 1st and 8th grade are saved for last. The 8thgrade is introduced, then the first graders are called up. As they are called, an eighth grade student will offer them a rose and they are connected together for the rest of the year as “reading buddies”.
So I am pausing. I am watching my sparkle of a daughter walk to get her rose from her adopted eighth grader, Katherine. I am watching her go from a dreamy kindergartener to a more aware 1st grader (she is still so dreamy at times, thank goodness). And I am watching her take a small step away from me, to big girl. And I am so proud, so scared, so happy and so profoundly moved by her step. It is done with confidence, pleasure and joyful expectation. She does not look back to see if I am there and watching. I feel like she is not just my sparkle any more. She has joined, been accepted, and now is held by the school. And I am so grateful. She is in good arms and so am I.