At Ned’s preschool, this sweet vision awaited us and him. I don’t want to give the details of the birthday celebration away- there are many of Ned’s friends who are yet to experience this, but one thing I will say is that while each child partakes in the same ‘journey’, the celebration is individualised when the parents share some of the key moments of the child’s life through words and photos. In my experience, the children KNOW what is happening and what to expect, but rather than be bored or misbehave, the regular rhythm of the celebration as it unfolds encourages their feelings of anticipation for when it will be their turn. The children also rejoice with the child who is being celebrated, radiating joy for their peer.
And many parents do find the celebration of their child overwhelming in the best sense possible. Many parents do cry, such is their gratitude that their child is honoured in this way. It sure beats simply sharing a cake and a song. The celebration, like the blessingway I was gifted a few months ago, is an opportunity for the child to feel acknowledged and valued, and to know how much they are loved in this life and time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all children (and all people) could have this kind of acknowledgement at least once this lifetime?
As the ceremony began, Ned stood there in typical Ned fashion- practising his whistling tunes! We are so lucky. He is such a happy boy. He wore his cape and crown with pride, and at the end of the ceremony, took the initiative and went around giving a hug to every child and teacher in the room. No worries about this kid’s sense of self, that is for sure.
At the end of the ceremony, Ned was given some precious gifts. The first one was this gorgeous hand-felted pouch made in the colours of his birth month according to the zodiac. Inside the pouch was a purposefully chosen birthstone. Ned thinks this is the bee’s knees!
He was also given his golden crown to take home. To make one at home, cut a strip of gold cardboard 4cm wide, and long enough to fit around your child’s head. Be sure to double check the size before you staple the strip into a circle. Cut out a simple round-cornered star shape from the card and staple it to the front. So simple, yet so loved.