My friend Carol Rice graduated with a degree in psychology and art, in May, and though I had intended to go to her graduation party, I missed it by a day and was sad and embarrassed.
I took her out to lunch earlier this week, though. To Garduño's on Montgomery. We talked some about art therapy (which she intends to study in Santa Fe soonishly to get an MA degree), and some about alternative psychology, and some about kids and some about just the little fluffy stuff old friends talk about.
Carol was one of the La Leche League leaders who made such a deep impression on me. When I met Carol she had three children and I had one. Now she has four and I have three, only none are "children," because they range in age from 13 to 23 now. Of those who weren't born yet when we met (Marty, Julie and Holly), they hang around together weekly or so, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer in full-DVD sessions. Renee and Liam (twins; toddlers when I met them) are over here from time to time for parties or games.
When I met Carol, Kirby was an infant and school or not-school was far in the future. By the time Kirby was five, I had seen Carol and her co-leader in LLL, Lori Odhner, and their growing families and their unschooling lives for many years. That's helpful. That (and some other personal experiences and factors) made unschooling easier for me than it could have been, and easier than I know it is for many others, and I've been grateful to Carol and Lori always for the benefit to my family from my having seen theirs. (Kathy Hoag was helpful too, with the early-childhood parenting, but Kathy's kids all went to school and the wedge eventually made the separation too great for the kids to hang around comfortably. I still like Kathy lots when I see her, but can't claim the same lifelong relationship of kids-to-kids.)
Frequently when I've spoken or written I've named Carol and Lori as mothers to whom I'm indebted, who influenced me and gave me tricks and treasures to pass on to other moms, so here's another credit, homage and tribute to Carol Rice. I thank you again, and not for the last time.