I am home with four kids - two girls, two boys - ages 14, 6, 5 and 3 (and when I started this blog, just a little over two years ago, I had an infant, a 2yr old, 3yr old and 12yr old - feels like a lifetime ago, but it wasn't ;-). Until about four or five years ago, I worked in marketing. I have been and done many things - dancer, magazine "multi-tasker", advertising copywriter, gymnastics coach, resort town waitress, grad student, etc. Now my areas of expertise are different and diverse. I am savvy, efficient, patient and earthy (like it or not). I am a better cook, an Ok herb gardener, an impressive artist to my kids, an active and prolific photographer, a childrens' clothing stylist (in my head), a manager of all things "household" and a news enthusiast (from politics to celebrity). I am more cynical though less of a worrier / hypochondriac than I used to be. I am increasingly proud of what I do with kids, family and home, but I do still present myself as a "freelance writer".
... it is sometimes hard to get out of bed, let alone tackle a daunting or unpleasant task - rainy, wet, cold and dreary, it makes things seem beyond us. Today, a number of people have to attend the funeral of a friend, teacher, brother and son. St. Bede's beloved Signore Carl Schneider will be memorialized today, and it will be a very hard day. Last night, some other mothers and I took some of the older kids to his calling hours. His mother graciously walked over to the group I was with and hugged the teary 7th, 8th and 9th graders one by one - talked to them about what they remembered about her son, their teacher - and told them how much they meant to him. Earlier, I'm told, the kindergartners' letters and drawings for him were presented to the family, which they tearfully and gratefully accepted. And, it is really so hard to see a family suffering so much. It was comforting to see so many of their own friends and members of their church there to help them through this. It was nice to see, too, that the parking lot was filled with kayaks - literally all over the place - on top of SUVs, Jeeps, trucks - sometimes three or four at a time (he, himself, owned five, I believe :-) - it appeared the whole kayaking community was there to visit their friend. The girls I took - my Olivia one of them - took some teary comfort in watching his kayaking videos as did others there. I've actually never seen so many people packed in to say good-bye to one person. I'm sure today will be the same. And... today.... really is good-bye - though, like so many of his students have been saying all week, on Facebook, in person, in writing or drawings in the halls at school, to the grief counselors and other teachers - Mr. Schneider will be in our hearts forever.
See "Neverending Story's" post for a poem by Carl Schneider (or check the comments in my post from 4 Oct) :-).