Mad for…Catherine

Every human is an artist. The dream of your life is to make beautiful art. (Miguel Angel Ruiz)

Sheesh. It turns out a lot of people I know have birthdays in August! This includes a sweet and very colorful art teacher named Catherine Rae Brenner. When I first met her at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School, she was “Miss Rae.” Then, a few years back, she married a handsome guy named Bob Brenner, so all the grade school kids and I had to learn to remember her by her new name. I am pretty sure she’d been married for two or three years and my little guy, Zach, was still saying, “MOM!! It’s Mrs. BRENNER! Get it together!” Haha!

I’m going to let you all in on a poorly kept secret. The Thieme boys have precious little skills in the area of artistic ability. That did not keep this sunny teacher from affecting them in a positive way by her constant encouragement. Zach was particularly drawn to Mrs. Brenner because he knew that as long as he tried his best, she was going to give him one of her genuine and lovely smiles and tell him he did good work! Catherine knows that mostly kids are uncomplicated. They are just gorgeous little rose buds that need a little sunshine and watering and they will bloom into something glorious. She cares about them, and it shows, plus she more than once made a point of sharing something affirming about my son to his mother. Moms are into that. Fact.

Catherine is a beautiful woman, a kind person and a caring human. She knows that her job inspiring minds to think creatively is truly important. As Pablo Picasso famously said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” How true!! She has a way of encouraging students by her example to try and just wake up and be awesome. Her affirming words, particularly about my youngest son, were meaningful and impactful. Now that we have “graduated” from SLDM, we will miss Catherine Brenner!

Yesterday was her birthday. So, as most now know, I believe birthdays should always go on for days, so I’ve declared yet another birthday festival! Happy Birthday, Mrs. BRENNER! For all the times I accidentally called you Mrs. Rae over the years, I’m sorry!! Never once did you say a thing about my mistake, but I wouldn’t have blamed you a bit had you chosen to do so. Thank you for being a bright light for all the little faces in your path each day. We are grateful for you and the gift of your time and talent…and I am long overdue to say so!! Hope your festival continues for the rest of the month!

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