This is for those of you who remember turning seven, were once seven years old, who have a seven year old or who have a child who will someday be seven! Turning seven is something very important within the Waldorf tradition and to me this rite of passage deserves to be marked in a special way.
This is what we did in leading up to our daughter’s seventh birthday (which actually took place awhile back, but I just found these little notes about her birthday to remind me to share this with you all!)
In the weeks leading up to her birthday we read “The Seven Year Old Wonder Book” by Isabelle Wyatt (this is a Waldorf tradition and must not be skipped!). The week of her birthday we had our own Rhyme Elves Book. For those of you who may not have read “The Seven Year Old Wonder Book”, the little girl in the story listens to a story told by her mother (each chapter is sort of a story within a story that takes place around different festival times). The little girl has a small blank book by her bedside, and when she wakes up, there is a wonderful little poem that the Rhyme Elves wrote about the story the little girl heard the day before. The stories I told for the birthday week were Little Red Cap (Grimm’s Fairy Tales), The Lake at the End of the World (Ecuadorian Fairy Tale available in the Waldorf book “You’re Not the Boss of Me!”), Maid Maleen (Grimm’s), and the Pumpkin Child (my favorite – a Persian tale also available in the Waldorf book “You’re Not the Boss of Me!”). I tried to go for stories that were about the struggle of transformation at an archetypal level. We made our Rhyme Elves Book just simply by taking two watercolor paintings and binding them on the outside with plain paper in between. Most of all, we were so lucky to have some handy little Rhyme Elves who were willing to write poems in her Rhyme Elves book!
The weekend before her actual birthday, our daughter’s aunt came and took her shopping and for high tea at a very fancy hotel downtown, which my daughter enjoyed thoroughly!
On the day of her birthday we presented our daughter with her gifts at breakfast, including a scroll of all the fun things she did the year when she was six and she presented a small gift to her youngest sister. Then we went as a family to Rock City, TN to spend the day. (If you are not familiar with Rock City, please see this website: http://www.seerockcity.com/Flash/index.htm It really is a very magical place, for young and old). We also made her favorite dinner and had homemade strawberry shortcake for dessert.
On the weekend after her birthday, we had a small birthday party with our closest family friends where the main activity was boat building for the children, thanks to a dear friend and her Master woodworking/carpenter husband. All the hulls and parts were pre-cut, but the children had a great time hammering extra carved pieces on the hulls, putting a dowel in for the mast and picking sails from a pile of fabric. I told the story of how our daughter came over the Rainbow Bridge while she wore a crown I had sewed. Then we had vegan birthday cupcakes!
This was a very fun week for our family, and I hope my daughter looks back on it with fond memories.
Maybe something in here will stimulate your own ideas for a special birthday celebration!!
Just a few thoughts from my little corner of the world.