04 October 2010

When little ones kinda / sorta make your day.

Even when it's a tough day for whatever reason AND even if my little ones are fighting, being overly demanding, etc., I can still draw on them for strength and a little lift in the fog - a boost over whatever is bothering me or has me down that day. AND ... even when I'm tired or little voices calling out in the night to go to the bathroom or because they want a cup of milk keep me up, I have to admit, I do enjoy checking on all the sleeping kiddies - high schooler included :-). I mean, I am a night owl at times and, while insomnia is not bugging me these days (thanks again, E), I do sometimes stay up, make tea, watch part of a dumb movie or even wander the bedrooms, leaving lunch money on the 14 year old's dresser with a fitness bar to take with her in the morning - I cover the little ones with a comforter (particularly on these chilly mornings lately), sometimes turning on the TV in the boys room - PBS or Noggin, just softly, so they can wake up slowly, lay in bed and watch cartoons while the rest of the house wakes - sometimes, I'm even prepared with the two year old's milk, which she always demands first thing :-). Feels good. Calms me. Makes me feel wanted. And ... let's face it, 5 am may be the only alone time I'll get that day :-).

Today, all the kids (aside from two year old, Lil) went off to school today with some somber news on their minds. The Italian teacher, Carl Schneider, at St. Bede School was killed in a kayaking accident Friday night in Blackwater Falls, W.Va (I briefly mentioned this in a previous post - though first reports said Ohiopyle). He loved the sport, so.... some are comforted by the fact that he died doing something he loved (and knew the risks, etc.). He was a guy who was entirely true to himself (read here a little about him) - a quiet reader and writer - and he had a really gentle way with his younger students. The older students sometimes didn't know what to make of him - he was hip and funky - irreverent at times - emotional and reflective at other times. Of course, they all really liked him. In the car Friday night, high schooler, Olivia, and friends were talking about him a bit (the older girls were fascinated by him in a way), and my Enzo just loved him - had him all last year - talked about him frequently - was inspired to give one of the funniest, most spirited performances I've ever seen in his Italian presentation end of year (surprised even Carl, I think ;-). Both Olivia and Enzo are concerned about whether or not he suffered - if he felt pain, and I think most kids will have those simple, poignant, sad and pure thoughts - I don't want to think of him suffering - I can't believe he's not here - Or... did it really happen?

Anyway, today will be a hard day for some of the kids at school. Today, they will be the ones who need to be comforted. Of course, the grief counselors will handle that - because.... really -there is not much to say. Your teacher, your friend is gone. I'm sorry. We're all sad. We're all a little bit alone in our individual grieving processes, and.... no - Mom and / or Dad can't help a whole lot with that. But... it will pass. Until then, we'll pay our respects - we'll remember him - and we'll try to restore the routine. So ... thinking today of poor Carl (he was only 35 years old) and of all those he left behind - his family and friends (the teachers at St. Bede are in my thoughts today too - they've lost a colleague and a friend - as is the case with a lot of people in the area - his colleagues at Legume Bistro in Regent Square where he also worked - at his family's church - in his kayaking circles ....).

Some days, it is hard to tell kids that it is going to be Ok, but... it is. Prayers for Carl on this sad day (and here's an especially nice little story on him that features some of his friends AND his fantastic kayaking ability - please excuse the short ad prior to the actual story).

Photo: Milo's spirit-lifting, beautiful, brightening autumn wreath (made in preschool), hanging on our front door :-).


Facie said...

Sad. So young. But as you said, a comfort to some the way he went. St. Bede's has an Italian teacher?!

I know what you mean about kids at night. Last night I unfortunately woke up around 2 and lied awake for over an hour, something that has not happened for awhile. But the good news is my kid came in the room on her way back to the bathroom sometime during that sleeplessness, just to kiss me good night, and because I was awake, it was nice.

Sherri said...

Nice story, Facie (I am on this morning reading through documents for eventual editing, etc. - need to submit proposal and timeline this afternoon on the project) - very sweet.

And, yes - sad today about MR. Schneider. Thanks, friends / readers, btw - for supplying me with stories and info to fill in my "holes" this morning :-).

joely said...

I feel incredibly blessed to have know Carl. Thnak you for a wonderful tribute. I thougth I would share a poem of his in your blog world. Somewhat haunting considering the circumstance surrounding his death:

Current mood: thoughtful
Category: Writing and Poetry

I love the feel of indigo denim,
as it roughly runs through my smooth fingers,
Or does it smoothly run through my rough fingers?

For friction is to die for.
No wind across my frozen face?
No lacquered yellow pencil clutched in my right hand?
No uncut, falling tresses, scratching against my brow?
Yes, friction is to die for.

The friction of life;
it happens where violent water
patiently laps away the rough ridges of rock,
till only the smooth stones of David remain.

And as those smooth stones,
flung from a sling,
strike with friction,
one life begins,
as another ends.

I wonder, if the skins he wore then,
Rubbed with friction of indigo denim.
Roughly against the smooth loins of youth
or smoothly against the rough loins
of his adulterous adulthood.

Yes, friction is to die for,
because friction is life living.

Carl William Schneider

Sherri said...

Thank you, Joely! I had talked to him about writing before briefly, but... I didn't have any of his work. Very nice - I may post it on Wednesday, the day we should remember him again. I think all of our kids are lucky to have known such a unique individual; someday (if not right now), they will completely get that.