The Rose Ceremony
Twelve years ago, Joe and I sat in the auditorium of the Chicago Waldorf School and watched our 6-year-old and his first grade classmates walk onto the auditorium stage with their teacher to receive a rose and be welcomed to the school by a 12th grader. The first graders looked so small standing on the stage, sweetly clutching their roses with the senior class behind them. Standing with them was their teacher, who would journey with them through the next eight grades. At the end of the assembly, the seniors introduced themselves to us and headed off to begin their last year of high school, while our first graders lined up and followed their teacher to the first grade classroom where there adventure would begin. We were left behind, with tear-stained faces, clutching the roses we had cajoled and wrestled from our first graders’ hands for safe keeping. I remember dearly departed Joe smiling at another dad and saying, “See you back here in 12 years.”
Today, twelve years later, I took my seat in the same auditorium to watch as my 12th grader and his classmates presented each first grader with a rose and welcomed them to the Chicago Waldorf School with a gentle handshake.
At the end of the year, the first graders, a little taller and a little bolder, will once again meet the seniors in the auditorium to presented them with rose to take with them as they leave the school for the last time as students.
I missed sitting next to dearly departed Joe today, his hand tucked in mine, watching our son circle back to where he began 12 years ago. I sure wish he had come full circle with us, but when the Mom behind me made a shhing sound and a disgruntled mumble caught my ear, I knew he had arrived in spirit and was glad the seat next to me was empty.
Odd Loves Company!