Martin William Richard family photo From the Globe:

Neighbor Dan Aguilar said the Richard family was close, and that on most days — regardless of the weather — Martin Richard and his brother were in the family’s backyard, playing soccer, hockey, or baseball.

“They are just your average little boys,’’ Aguilar told reporters gathered near the family’s home on Carruth Street. “They are a good family. They are always together.’’

Aguilar said he last spoke with the family on Easter Sunday when they were gathered outside, enjoying the day. Today he noticed that the children had drawn butterflies and flowers with chalk on their driveway. Today, the chalk remained where the children had left it.

“I guess they planned on doing more,’’ he said. “That’s how I will remember them.’’

He added, “That little boy will never come home again. It’s still unreal. I have no words. I have no words.’

I can't imagine the pain of those parents.

Martin Richard attended Neighborhood House Charter School. And Martin's mom is the librarian there. I'm sure his classmates and the staff are in shock. I know our community has been shaken when we've lost a student, but we've never dealt with the loss of someone so young.

Kevin Andrews, the headmaster, is a mentor of mine, and the original charter school pioneer of Boston. He has done a lot behind the scenes to create a better working relationship with the Boston Public Schools. I'm sure he'll pull everyone together.

For my readers in the Boston school world, some wisdom from my friend Meg Campbell:

What I learned from the suicide last year of one of our students is that grief has a social dimension and must be shared. Our school community was supported by and appreciated every single call, card, flower, or visit.

Match had 6 tutors and 2 kids run; they're all okay. I had breakfast today with my colleague Ray. His sister finished at 3:50. But last year she'd run 4:10 -- about the same time as the bombs exploded this year.

I met one of our donors for lunch; his secretary told me her son had finished the marathon 3 minutes before the explosion. Their family had gathered just 2 blocks up the street. She was still shaken.