Tuesday, July 8, 2008
So long, but I hope not farewell
...last Saturday evening I made a special point to make sure to catch the Conroy family before they soon scatter to Germany. Dad is a patent lawyer and his company really wanted to keep him ... so they said "what will we have to do to keep you with us?" And he wanted to head up the company's new office near Munich. They will be there for at least a three year stint. Catherine was actually born there when dad was there on a Fullbright scholarship. They will be returning to the same parish (English speakers mostly - St. Patricks) Catherine was baptized in and I advised if she could get confirmed over there, by all means do it...that way if and when she gets married those records will be in the same place.
Catherine will be entering the secondary school system there - a special gymnasium program where foreign children are taught half in German and half in English. There is an international school she could have attended for exceptional children - those kids on average have an IQ of about 120.. but they told her parents that they'd like her to try the regular gymnasium program first as she'd be more challenged. Catherine's IQ is well up in the genius range, as I guessed when I picked her "out of the crowd" to learn to serve Mass. The kids that are "bored and looking around" at things are often the brightest and not challenged enough. Such a pleasure to teach her to serve. And if "the unexpected" sometimes happens at Mass -- if there was something "out of the box" that didn't normally happen, it was ALWAYS fun to watch the little gears turn as she'd figure out "which principles applied" and she usually came to the right conclusion. Always the quick questions. Never had to tell her anything more than once. Great kid. She was the one who last year decided the Blessed Mother would probably enjoy sun glasses.
The parents, Lauren and John are quite excited as they quite liked their student time over there. And Lauren is ecstatic Catherine will not have to go through the bitchiness of female puberty in a US Jr. High. We both told Catherine "Hey, if you're a jerk over there, no worries, you can come back here and be somebody else and no one will be the wiser." She gave us a "dubious" look. Her younger brother Liam is going to turn out to be every bit the pistol Catherine is.
We have small parish boundaries so it's always a great loss to us when we "lose" even temporarily a family like this. I sent her off with a copy of "Where Angels Go, Trouble Follows" the sequel to "The Trouble with Angels" which I'd given her for Christmas. I'm sure she'll be "scathingly brilliant" wherever she goes.
(Yes, that is the pastor on the left. Yes, he is wearing a white clerical shirt with collar. He and a pastor emeritus now living in the parish have moved over to white clerical shirts this summer. Can't blame them. It can be sweltering.)