In Steiner schools, birthdays are big deals, each child has a day dedicated to their birth, a birthday celebration. A week or so ago we had the great honour of celebrating Poe's birth, Steiner style and oh my goodness what a special event it was.
We arrived at preschool at about 11 and were shown to a little wooden chair, next to a very special chair that was draped in beautiful golden starry fabric. There was a ring of chairs and in front of the "very special" chair was a table with five coloured candles, some flowers and a bell.
We noticed that Paige then went over to Poe and said "Poe, it's time to come with Paige now" in a beautiful and gentle sing-song voice. Poe and Paige went to a room to get ready, oh my goodness, Poe's face was so wonderful as he took her hand, he looked like he was going to burst with joy and specialness.
All the other children came and sat around the ring of chairs and then Poe and Paige came out, Poe was wearing a golden crown and a beautiful silk cloak. He looked like, if possible, that he might burst with even more joy than before, he was utterly brimming with excitement, but also oh so focused on what was happening. Paige walked with Poe around the ring, singing a song about Poe being a little star in the sky and how he fell to earth when he was born, Scott and I both felt an immediate shortness of breath and our eyes welled with tears, it was so precious.
Poe then came and sat in the (you guessed it) "very special" chair and as Paige lit each candle we told a story from each year of his life. We spoke about when he was born, his special morning walks with Scott in the hug-a-bub when he was very little, the time he tried to speak to a dog by barking at it, his very special relationships with his friends, becoming a big brother and moving to Bellingen.
The last story included the first song Poe had written; "Poe's Garden" and so we handed out some instruments and Scott played the ukelele and sang, it was really fun seeing everyone get involved and for Poe to see his friends perform his song. Poe then used the snuffer to put out each of the five candles and then we sat at the table and Poe, with the assistance of Ilo, cut the cake and delivered the cake to all of his friends. We then spent an hour or so playing mums and dads, sharks, squirrels, removalists, cooking and dress ups with all the other kids, so super cool.
All of the kids in Poe's class made special cards for him, with beautiful messages inside. He was also given a little knitted cat as a present.
We really love that the school celebrates the child in such a simple and beautiful way, through stories, songs and love.
That night in bed, Poe was talking about what a special day it was, he said "I felt like everyone just loved me and nobody else". As a five year old, feeling like that would feel pretty special, I am happy that Poe felt so honoured.