Archive for the ‘Babysitting’ Category

Wanted Woman

May 27, 2017

It’s nice to be wanted.

It really is.

It’s nice to be pursued.

It’s nice to be courted.

But.

To a point.

Today I was asked to nanny by four different people.

Four.

Three separate families apart from the one I work for, and all from the same spot.

I was a little overwhelmed by it, I was also very tentative about saying anything about my availability.

What availability?

I mean.

Yikes.

One mom who asked has asked before and it has always felt a little like I was getting manipulated into doing something even though I was fairly closed mouth about being able to do anything, I also feel like I must be circumspect and respect that the families are all after one thing, that which will work well for them and their children.

And I know from over a decade of being a nanny that it’s hard to find a good fit for your child, I am asked for referrals all the time.

All the time.

It takes a lot of showing up to be good.

And.

I have a lot to give, but let’s be honest.

There is only so much Carmen-nanny to go around.

Word has gotten out that my family will be gone for a few weeks in July and that I might be helping out my previous family.

And it’s true.

My current family will be leaving for a few weeks, but my internship won’t be going anywhere.

And yes.

I did tell my previous family I would love to help them out with a date night, I miss the boys and it would be sweet to have a night with them.

But.

I am in no place to suddenly pick up a lot of hours.

I will say, though, it is flattering.

I also got to see the another family I briefly worked for end of last year and get a lot of hugs and how are you’s and catch up.

Part of me wants to say yes, of course I will help, I love your kids, I like you.

But.

I love me to.

And Carmen has needs.

I want to make sure my needs are getting met before I go off and make promises to help when I will just get resentful.

No.

I don’t want my summer to be a resentful making time.

I would rather do a lot of yoga, hang out with friends, go on dates, get some extra hours in at my internship and maybe take a long weekend somewhere.

Maybe not even all that far away.

Somewhere by the sea.

Somewhere closer by then Paris.

Somewhere I just lay around in a big hotel bed for a weekend.

I still have my flight voucher for $480 to use before October.

And.

I just had a moment today, not a big one, but a kind of soft warning bell, oh hey, don’t forget, you’re also going to Burning Man and I haven’t done any prep around that.

I still need to replace my playa bike.

I need to find a ride there and back as well.

I have some supplies that I need to replace, a battery charged air pump for my blow up mattress, and of course since I’m not working at all this event I will need to probably procure another cooler for a longer run on my food and figure out a shade structure.

I didn’t have a shade structure last year, I figured, four days in and out, I’ll deal, but this year I’ll be there for the full event and I want to be in a nice space for myself.

Also.

Since school starts for me the weekend prior to Burning Man starting, literally my fall school semester will start and I will leave class and head straight to the playa.

That night.

If not that afternoon.

Depending on who I ride with.

Anyone want to give me a ride to Burning Man this year?

Yeah, seriously, hit me up.

I suppose I will put my name on the ride share board again and see if that pans anything out.

I don’t have to know all the details yet, but there’s planning that needs to be done for that and May is almost over, June will be really rolling into being at my internship and taking clients and July, the family is gone for three weeks.

That three weeks feels like the golden times.

I could not work at all.

I am getting paid for the time the family is away.

I could just do my internship and hide from all forms of nannying.

I don’t want to let myself get bogged down in helping out too many people.

Even if all I do is yoga and take long walks on the beach, just some good solid self-care.

Ah.

I am done with the worrying.

Tomorrow has a lot going on and I want to get up early and go to yoga, stretch out as much as possible and get in my body, meeting with my person at Tart to Tart, grocery shopping–the cupboards are pretty bare, and a dentist appointment to deal with before I try to figure out what July looks like.

I have today.

I got through the week, the jet lag seems to have faded off.

I got to see some friends and fellows tonight.

I had a great day at work.

I was pursued and though I couldn’t respond in the manner that was being asked after, I gave no promises as to my availability, only confirmed that the family will be out for a few weeks in July, I could thank those that asked after me.

And.

I can appreciate that I am appreciated.

That people want me to work for them.

That I am wanted is a gift.

A gift that I do not take lightly.

So with much gratitude.

I bid adieu to Friday and hello to my three-day weekend!

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

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Staying In The Moment

March 18, 2017

Is hard to do.

Seriously.

If I’m not careful I’ve skipped over the whole weekend and I’m back at Monday and in the work grind again.

I can do that, magically get so caught up in the things that I need to get done that I forget to do the things for myself that I need to do, slow down, breathe, appreciate my efforts for the things I have done.

Acknowledge that shit, yo.

I worked a full week of work after having done a full weekend of school which was just following a full week of work.

So yes.

Tomorrow is my first day off in two weeks.

Hallelujah.

I am stoked.

I am going to do some nice things for me as I have done a lot of work for school over the past week, from showing up to my internship and signing papers, to e-mailing and contacting supervisors, to making appointments to interview with a possible supervisor–next Wednesday, to reading four chapters of Trauma class readings, and contacting possible therapists as I will need to be in therapy as I am working with the clients that I will be helping.

I have signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

I have plans to see my people, two back to back sit downs to read and do the deal on Saturday.

And yes, I think I will, a nice little mani/pedi at the local nail salon as well as some eyebrow help, they’re starting to get a little out of control, as they do.

I may take myself out for a nice lunch.

I am thinking I will go out to dinner tomorrow night and do some fellowship.

Dinner somewhere in the NOPA neighborhood.

Sunday a day with a friend in San Leandro.

Sunday night a quick visit with a friend in the neighborhood.

And bam.

See.

I told you.

It’s Monday.

And somewhere in there I need to do food prep and cooking and I have entertained the possibility of writing my Trauma reflection paper.

Just to have it the fuck out the way.

Especially since I am going to be working an extra weekend this month.

I was also asked to work next Friday by a family I used to work for and I had to say no.

I am going to help out my current family the last weekend of the month, basically work a Saturday and a Sunday while the dad is away on work, the days won’t be super long, granted, but not having any days off will be challenging and I’m pretty aware of that.

I have turned down two gigs recently.

The one to work next week and a wedding in Napa.

Part of me considered very seriously both propositions.

The extra money would be nice, but.

I really want to see the boys I used to work for, but.

I just can’t do it.

I feel like I need all the reserves I can get to just get through my work and my school work and the additional stress of figuring out all the practicum stuff has been wearing on me, I am hoping, so hoping, that the Wednesday interview, before I go to work (which I might as well get used to, I’m going to be working with a supervisor once a week for two hours before I head into work for a year) and interview with him.

Please say yes mister supervisor.

I don’t have much energy to keep looking.

I am also looking for a therapist.

The first one who was referred to me couldn’t fit me into her schedule.

But she was super helpful and offered to refer me out and I said yes please, of course, I haven’t heard anything else back, but I tried.

I just emailed another therapist tonight too to keep that ball rolling.

I will have to be doing it as part of my program and I have to be doing it while I see clients.

This is good and I am rather looking forward to it.

And frankly.

After two years of studying and training and practicing how to be a therapist I’m ready for a little of that love to be turned back around on me.

In some ways, it has, especially in the actions that I took today and over the last week, in regards to what I can do, how I can take care of myself and what I need to do to take care of myself.

Like.

Not working on my days off.

Ok, yes, I am working that weekend for my current family, but we negotiated easy hours for me, a big break, payment in cash, and I’ll get my meals covered and probably have a fun field trip type day out with the charges.

It will be a fun adventure.

And yes I will be tired, and yes, I will need to be gentle with myself.

Which is also why I said no, to the other two queries, and the best thing about it?

God damn.

It felt like such a win.

I didn’t justify or explain my response.

I said simply in both cases, thank you so much for thinking of me, which is true, but no thank you.

It is nice to be thought of, it is nice to be the type of person that others want you to work for them, that they want you so much that even though they think I probably can’t (both parties said it, it was sweet), they want me bad enough that they’re going to ask either way, just in case.

I was flattered.

And though I felt momentarily guilty about taking care of myself over taking care of others.

I got the fuck over it.

Self-care people.

It really is a thing.

So.

Here’s to me doing some sweet, kind, generous, loving things for myself this weekend.

So that I may be sweet, kind, generous, loving, and caring to those around me.

Now excuse me.

I have to put on my oxygen mask before assisting others to the exit slide.

Heh.

 

 

The Last Family

March 4, 2017

My friend said this to me tonight.

And he’s right.

My current family is probably going to be my last family.

It is with some disbelief that I said it, but really, I knew it when I started, that they could very well be the last family I nanny for.

They want me for four years.

That will get me all the way through grad school.

Masters and Doctorate.

Doctor Carmen.

I like how that sounds.

Actually.

I fucking love how that sounds.

And I love that this is my last family.

I also love this family.

I really do.

They are fierce, funny, smart, good-hearted and generous, and that’s just the kids.

I got my first baby smile today from the new-born, who, I suppose is not quite so new, being three months today, but still, such a smile.

Made my heart melt.

Plus.

I had just a total scrumptuous day with the little lady.

We went down town, which I might have nixed had I known that there was a conference happening at the Moscone Center, and had a day at the Children’s Creativity Museum that is just behind Yerba Buena Gardens.

We took the J-Church train downtown and got to stroll around and enjoy the weather.

Sunny today.

Rain tomorrow.

Focused on the sun.

So nice to be out in the day and have a fun time at the museum.

And the carousel.

The LeRoy King carousel.

Such a treat.

In fact.

We rode it five times.

The joy on that child’s face was and is indescribable.

I took so many pictures.

None of which I will post here, no pictures of my charges, but safe to say, it was joy, unadulterated sunshiny joy.

We had so much fun.

We ran around the museum.

We went to the Play Circle Park, where the giant slides are.

If you have not been to the Play Circle Park you definitely need to check it out, giant slides, need I say more?

We actually left the museum and park for lunch, normally we would have just eaten at the museum cafe, but because of the conference, it was packed.

Thankfully I know the downtown a little bit and steered us just a tiny bit off the beaten path of the Moscone Center and we hit a nice little cafe for a big grilled cheese for her and a chopped salad for me.

Then.

Yes.

My charge convinced me, and hey, it is Friday, so, fuck it, one more spin on the carousel.

We negotiated one more trip through the museum, mostly to use the bathrooms and she wanted more entry/exit stamps, but skipped the giant slides at the park to take the carousel one last time before heading back.

It was the best time to catch the carousel too.

There was a group of people from the conference on the carousel and they had bought so many rides that we got to take a double long ride.

She was over the moon.

“This is so much fun!” She exclaimed.

She rode three different horses.

A camel.

A giraffe.

And was just a tiny bit disappointed that there were no unicorns.

I mean.

I can understand that.

Or dogs.

“Why no dogs, Carmen?” She asked me, searching through the ranks of animals on the poles ready to have a leg swung over and hopped onto.

“Good question love, I don’t know, but there’s a lion, want to try that?”

And she did.

And it was good.

God.

It was good.

It was good to ride the train back to her house, to push the stroller up the hill, exercise, yah, and to punch in the code to the garage, to fold down the stroller (now that I finally know the trick to collapsing it) and put on a kettle to boil for tea.

I took in the view from the back, it’s an entire wall of glass with a view of the downtown and to smile at my happiness at my job.

I really feel pretty fucking lucky.

I do.

So when my friend mentioned that tonight, “the last family,” it really hit me how far I have come and all the work I have done to be where I am.

Ten years or so ago a friend reached to me and said, “hey you need some extra cash?  I need help at the Burning Man offices on Wednesday nights, there’s a board meeting and I have class, can you come down and take care of J_________ for an hour and a half, two hours tops?”

I said yes.

And though I did not realize it then.

I never looked back.

I relieved my friend her nanny shift every Wednesday for months, occasionally helping the mom and dad she worked for too with a date night.

Then.

I nannied the regional event at the office and then the Christmas party.

And that’s where I met her.

My first love.

She was just six weeks old and I remember how my heart was smote and the thought came where there certainly had not been thought before, “I want to be her nanny.”

As luck would have it.

Fate.

God.

What have you.

I was asked to be that little baby girl’s temporary nanny.

Then.

Eventually I got to nanny for her and another family.

I had a key to the office and would often be there first before any one else got there.

I would lock up my bike in the bottom of the building, climb the stairs, turn on the lights in the kitchen and make a pot of coffee.

I would wander around and look at the art on the walls and the sculptures.

I would tidy up.

I would receive my charges and my day would start.

I could not fathom then the ten years that would follow.

I could not express to myself how amazing the job, and hard, so horrendously hard (when I made it so), but so fulfilling too, yes, to get paid for loving a child is such a gift.

Oh.

Sure.

Teething, tantrums, poopy diapers, potty training, running out of milk, late parents with car trouble, not getting paid enough, being treated like the help (most of my families did not do this, but I had a few that did, grateful I learned how to leave jobs that weren’t a good fit for ones that were), long ass hours.

And then.

The hugs.

The snuggles.

The dance parties.

Oh.

My.

The dance parties.

So many.

The warm soft, sweet bread baked smell of sleeping children.

I remember being in the nursery at the Burning Man offices and I was sitting in the dark with the door open.

I had two babies sleeping on me, one on my right shoulder, one in the lap against my right side, and the office dog, a little three-legged guy, Ralph, that would occasionally herd the toddlers around the office zocalo, nestled next to me, all curled up and asleep.

One of the office managers walked by and did a double take.

“Do you just ooze maternal?” He asked incredulous.

Maybe.

I don’t know what it is, but I am grateful for it and all the tender, sweet moments that I have had.

They are not done yet, but I see a change coming and it is with much gratitude that I reflected on my career, the unexpected career, never ever said to myself I want to be a nanny when I grow up, and all the joy it has brought me.

I am a very, very lucky girl.

I mean.

Really.

Who gets paid to ride carousels?

I do.

That’s who.

I do.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Everything Is All Right

October 4, 2016

I mean.

I woke up this morning at 6 a.m.

Rested.

Relaxed.

And fucking fine.

Dare I say?

Right as rain.

I have no clue why, well, actually I do, I did some inventory last night before bed and sent it off to my person and that feels really good and I’ll probably do another bit of it tonight.

And fuck.

This shit works.

So grateful for a solution.

And that I have people I can bounce things off of when I am in a funky place in my head.

The sads passed.

I have no real idea, still, what I was sad about, sad happens.

Now.

The 20 month old today was SAD.

And loud and upset and had a huge melt down and there was no reading school books in Who Ville.

There was only calming down the baby who was having some big time abandonment stuff around the mom leaving.

She figured out that when I show up the mom is going to leave.

It is always heartbreaking and depending on the age it can be a bee line right into a temper tantrum.

And that’s what happened today.

Not the longest one I have ever experienced, but the poor little mite wore herself out with it and was sleeping on my chest by 9:45 a.m.

Hours.

I mean, HOURS, before her scheduled nap time.

And.

When I put her down in her crib she got really upset all over again, so I just took her out and let her sleep on my chest.

At times it was restful and lovely, in fact, for most the time it was restful and lovely.

The view was of Twin Peaks–they are at a high point in Noe Valley–and it was swathed in grey and the light rain and mist and fog swirling around were relaxing to watch and meditate to.

I got some quite time and though there were minutes of being annoyed, they passed quickly, that I wasn’t getting a fat juicy nap to do my reading for school, most of it was serene and soft and nice.

I mean.

Really nice.

She is a super sweet and very smart girl and it was a pleasure to work with her.

Tomorrow back with my regular family, plus an interview with a mom that was referred to me.

Then Wednesday, back to Noe Valley.

Thursday and Friday in the Mission.

And though I’m not a 100% behind all the moving around it feels like it’s a temporary thing and I am enjoying having some extra cash in my pocket as well as connecting to a very sweet family and their adorable brood.

Plus I am enjoying, immensely, being able to get out to the that thing I do in church basements every day this week.

That feels huge and really nice to get plugged in.

It always takes a week to get re-oriented after a weekend of grad school work.

I have a lot of stuff coming up on my plate around that, when won’t I?

But.

I am just doing what I can every day this week and letting go of the results.

I will have to write a paper this weekend, probably Saturday afternoon as my person is going to be out of town and we won’t be meeting and doing our normal Tart to Tart routine.

I was also thinking about how I heard a gentleman tonight talk about the stresses of school and I was like, brother, I hear you, and hmm, you are cute and want to start a make out group?

Er.

Hahahaha.

A study group.

Yeah that.

Sometimes the door opens right next to the door that shuts and as I walked past the shut door tonight I realized, wow, there is no there there.

And I had so much compassion.

For myself.

For the shut door and I got to let it go.

Oh.

Granted I got to talk it out a little tonight on the phone too, “oh, ho, I think there’s something still there, your voice sounds like a hammer every time you say his name.”

Oops.

“Men know when you are angry at them,” she concluded.

“Do some inventory and the next time you see him, give him a big hug and say, ‘it’s nice to see you’ and walk away.”

Yes.

I like that.

And hey, walk toward the open door.

Or stop looking for the open door and just do your homework.

Which is really what I’m all about.

That and seeing what happens regarding work.

I’m actually really starting to contemplate what it would look like if I took the position that I’m interviewing for tomorrow.

Granted.

Yes.

It’s only 30 hours.

But if my current employers want to keep me, and they do, two shifts a week, it could work.

I’m just going to show up and see and not have expectations.

Expectation leads to resentment.

I do have any more need for that today.

Really.

l am just relieved to feel so much easier in my skin, lighter, looser, like I am actually wearing life like a loose garment.

Yeah.

Yeah.

I know.

Cliche.

But sometimes there is a valid reason for the cliche, there’s a nugget of truth in it.

I could sense it when I was scootering up Lincoln Avenue on my way to work, the grey sky sprinkled rain down and the earth smelled so good, so alive, the pine needles in groves, the freshness of the morning.

I couldn’t believe my mood had lifted that much.

But it had.

And for that I am grateful.

Grateful that I know to show up and suit up, hey more cliches!

And to do that thing, whatever it is, that action, that is right in front of me and not get hung up on outcomes.

So much easier said than done.

Fuck me.

I can’t stop now.

Ha.

Anyway.

I’m feeling happy, joyous, free.

And it’s fucking right on.

Seriously.

 

Um, I’m Not Available

June 15, 2016

Ugh.

That was uncomfortable.

My boss changed up my schedule.

Again.

It’s been a little rocky, this start to summer, but as I am constantly reminding myself, be flexible.

I am certainly trying.

I even managed to get in a yoga class before work today.

I worked 1-8p.m.

So the mom and dad could go have a dinner date.

I’m down with dinner dates and happy to facilitate.

It does mean feeling a little off kilter since I go back into work and do 10a.m.-6p.m.

But so it goes.

However.

When I was talking with her earlier this afternoon there were things a foot, summer camp scheduling and re-scheduling and adding on another camp for the oldest boy.

And.

Um.

Ha.

I made plans for the weekend.

Like I bought tickets to New Orleans, I ain’t going to be there.

Fuck.

That was uncomfortable.

“Oh!  I hadn’t confirmed that we were doing that,” the mom said.

And she was right.

Fuck I hate when the other person is right.

Don’t you know who I am?

Dang it.

However.

I made the decision, bought the ticket, and was actually hoping to keep it under my hat, because I am still a touch uncomfortable discussing certain aspects of my life with my employers and not everybody gets why it would be super fun to go hang out with a bunch of sober people in another state for a weekend.

“I bought a ticket to go visit friends, thinking that I would have that Friday off,” I told the mom.

“I’m not expecting to be paid for that day, you already made that clear, the Friday was not to be included in my pay for the holiday,” I said, “I made plans to be at the airport for a red eye on Thursday.”

The mom was not happy.

And.

Neither am I.

But.

I bought the ticket, paid for the Air BnB, and I’ve already invested close to $900 in going.

I’m not not going.

I have been really flexible with them and I have taken on extra work and not asked for compensation.

Some times, all the time, fuck me, I have a hard time asking for what I need.

I need to know what my schedule is going to be.

I thought I would be ok with the week to week change up and I think I can be, I believe I can be, but it’s super hard to make life plans and then constantly up end them.

I have ended up re-scheduling and canceling three times on a lady I work with on Tuesdays.

I don’t like doing that and I was thinking I’m going to have to schedule all the ladies I work with to the weekends.

“If you need work, you let me know, I know tons of people,” my dear friend from school mentioned.

And I’m not thinking of changing up jobs, but I do have options, I need to remind myself, and that means also knowing my worth.

I am worth a lot.

I do an amazing job.

I love my charges.

I take good care, I’m smart, I’m high energy, I am a good snuggler.

Heh.

I sound like a personal ad in a newspaper.

Anyway.

It was awkward, but I’ll be taking off that time and I get to work at clearer communication with my employers.

That’s always a sticky point with me.

Like I said, I can be challenged when I have to speak up for myself.

I am the only one responsible for me and I realize that again and again and again, and when I was upset about some work stuff last week, oh did I do some inventory, it really all came down to me.

I was mad at me for not speaking up.

I had been keeping quiet about something and I finally spoke up to my people and I knew that “they” were going to “make me” do something.

“Oh, no, that’s not right, you need to say something,” came one response, “but let me just check in with…..”

And.

From another.

“Did you have the conversation with the mom yet?”

Ugh.

No.

The last few days have been a lot of busy at the house, it’s getting repainted and the scaffolding went up today.

Plus, the family is leaving for a trip on Thursday.

I have not, in fact, had the opportunity to speak about what has been on my mind.

I don’t even want to write about it here.

I feel ashamed.

Hmmm.

How interesting is that?

I don’t like it when I play the victim and I’ve cast myself in the role at work.

I had a play date last week that was not a play date.

It was another charge for the day.

I wasn’t offered compensation and I felt really weird about it.

It’s happened before, play dates where there’s not the parent of the other child or children present, and it is often times easier, on one hand since the monkeys all distract each other.

And.

It is also stressful.

Being responsible for another child.

And the not being compensated doesn’t sit well with me, but it’s really me not asking to be paid for my time that bothers me the most.

If I believe that I am a valuable asset, I have to ask for more.

It may be called a play date, but being saddled with another child for four hours felt like four hours of extra work.

I’m not comfortable writing about it.

I feel tender and stupid and taken advantage of, by myself.

I do have some compassion for myself too, I know why I do stuff like this, I get afraid to speak up, fear of confrontation, fear of, yes, I know it’s stupid, but, fear of getting fired, which always leads me down this fat rabbit hole of losing my job, losing my home, and being a homeless woman sleeping in the bushes.

Thank God for inventory and other people’s perspective.

Also.

That I am a total fucking people pleaser and if the people I work with tell me to do something I do it.

Which sounds like I don’t have free will.

No.

Actually I don’t.

I have a disease that wants me dead and the solution is to not listen to my self-pity and fear.

That’s the way of death.

I know.

Dramatic.

Right?

Anyway.

That’s how it works these days, I don’t want to use or pick up, but sometimes I just want to self-sabotage what ever I am doing and all it means is that here, again, is something to work on and to grow around.

Pain.

“They” say.

Is the touchstone to all spiritual growth.

Guess I’m having a growth spurt.

Seriously.

Replace A Permit

April 28, 2016

But let me start the blog by saying.

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems.

Good lord.

I had this odd feeling to read that little bit in my favorite book, not a book that I talk about much, well, here, but I do talk about it a lot, I read it daily, I have a sort of morning routine and it was suggested to me last time I met with my person that I read it.

“Ugh,” I said, “I just read that, I mean, literally, I just read that.”

“Read it again,” she said and continued on making the suggestions.

Of course I totally didn’t read it, I already have my morning routine, I don’t need another thing in it, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know how fucking busy I am?

Don’t you.

Um.

Heh.

Shut the fuck up, Martines, and take the suggestion.

And I remember to do so this morning, it was just the oddest little reminder, hey you, remember that thing that was suggested to you?

Yeah, that, read it.

It will come in handy today.

I did my regular readings and then I flipped open the book to that part and I read it again, for the who knows, 100th time, at least, and of course.

I got something from it.

“There are absolutely no mistakes in God’s world.”

Oh yeah.

Thank you.

Yes.

Exactly!

I promptly forgot that, but it came back to me as I prepared to launch out into my day.

Already feeling like I had had quite a day.

Morning routine, little kneel down, say the good words, get the acceptance on, ask for some guidance, ask to be of service, help me get to work safely and home safely on my scooter, be patient, kind, tolerant and loving, you know, the basics.

Breakfast.

Coffee.

More coffee.

God damn I love coffee.

Thank you God for coffee.

I digress.

Writing.

Face Time with Saturday’s date.

Slightly awkward, bad connection, he caught a screen shot of me with my mouth wide open in what looks like a classic horror movie still.

Or.

A really bad blow job face.

Ugh.

Erase that now, I asked.

I don’t think he erased it.

We chatted, it was a bad connection, so phone check in re all the things.

Then off to scooter to the optometrist to pick up my fancy schmancy new prescription sunglasses.

My first ever pair of prescriptions and I spent a pretty penny on them, most expensive pair of glasses I have ever bought, but the frames are gorgeous (I actually rued not getting them as a straight up pair of frames with my regular prescription, I think they may look better as just plain glasses, but oh well, I got them now) and I was absolutely astounded by how good everything looked.

Like.

Man.

I should have done this sooner.

They are fantastic.

I could see everything clear and crisp and there’s not glare on the road and whoa.

Plus, it’s nice to have sunglasses, I haven’t really worn a pair of them, outside of that thing in the desert, since I started wearing glasses again right before my 40th birthday.

Yes.

So lovely to see.

Even though.

Sometimes.

I see things I don’t want to see.

Or I see things that are missing.

LITERALLY.

Fuck me.

My child care parking permit was not on my scooter this morning.

Really?

REALLY?!

Where the fuck is it?

I’m not going to be able to park on the block at work without the permit, I’m going to get tickets, I’m going to have to ride my bike again, I’m so used to the scooter, I don’t want to.

I.

Shhh.

Acceptance.

Ah.

Big old sigh.

It’s not like I got hurt or lost something that can’t be replaced.

Even though when I told my employers, the mom acted like I wasn’t going to be able to get another until the permit expired in November.

Well.

I guess I’m getting back on the bicycle and bike commuting again.

Grrr.

I have to meet my person in the Castro tomorrow night at 18th and Diamond.

I hate that hill on a one speed.

Frogs.

Except.

Hmmm.

I bet I can still ride my scooter in.

I did today and the parking meter dude zipped right past me without bothering to stop and he did not chalk my tire.

“I bet they’re used to seeing your scooter and they know that it’s got a permit,” the mom said.

“You could park it in front of the garage if you think you’ll feel better about it there,” the dad said.

“I think it’s ok and I’ll figure out what I can do to replace it, if I can replace it, and if I can’t, I’ll be riding my bicycle back to work again,” I said, thanking them and getting on with the work that needed to be done.

Run to the market, get fixings, run to Lucca Ravioli, get tortellini and pesto for dinner, make a vat of broccoli soup, cook up some rice, make snacks for the boys, God, they were adorable today.

“I’m going to marry Carmen when I grow up,” the youngest said today.

Now that’s a first, it’s always been the six year old who has said I was his betrothed.

Then.

“No, you can’t, she’s too old for you,” his brother said.

Ouch.

I mean, yes, of course.

“Besides, I’m marrying Carmen, you can marry somebody else,” he finished.

Oh my God.

The cuteness.

He tugged on my hand later as we were walking to the park.

“Yes pie,” I asked looking at him, “what do you need?  Do you need a snack?”

“Nothing,” he replied, “I just need to kiss you.”

Oh.

Heart melting into puddle on sidewalk.

Then he kissed my hand.

Love my job.

Sometimes it just astounds me that I get to do this job, that I am entrusted with these two children, that I have gotten to have a little hand in raising them, loving them, being there for them.

And I have loved all the children I have nannied.

They have all left a little impression of themselves on my heart.

Some bigger than others.

Fingerprints smudged with childish laughter, the first I love you’s, the first smiles, the first hugs, the moments when they fall asleep on my shoulder, soft and heavy and luscious with the smell of sleep.

Luckiest girl in the world.

My little love bunnies.

My heart is full.

Deep and satiated with happy.

And it turns out the I can get a replacement permit from the SFMTA for the small fee of $18.

Although I will have to show up at their office, to do so, it has to be done in person.

Fine.

I can spend a morning doing that.

I think that’s called “adulting” or something like that.

I can accept that.

I was primed to do so this morning.

May I always be so flexible.

It really is the easier, softer way.

Something like this would have wrecked me for weeks, now, today.

Not so much.

I have other things to think about.

Dream about.

Plan for.

Papers to write.

Articles to read.

Ships to sail, tattoos to get, check books to balance, kissing to be had, dancing to be done, bills to be paid, life to be lived.

One beautiful.

Infatuating.

Glorious.

Day at a time.

 

Date Night!

March 20, 2016

I jest.

Work night is more like it.

Being tired night can be included in that.

Why am I at work night should be the title to this blog.

Because that’s where I am.

Le sigh.

It does not happen often that I am here on the weekend and it will not happen again this semester.

I feel a little bit broken.

I realized, on Sunday, as I was sitting in my last class of the day that I had unconsciously, oh what would Freud say about that, sabotaged myself into working thirteen days in a row with one day off and then another five days of work before I had my two day weekend.

Ugh.

Carmen.

I met with my person today.

And no!

Fuck.

We did not finish my inventory.

The lady is having me go deep.

DEEP.

It’s been a little painful, plus I’m sick, let’s just not beat around the bush, I haven’t been running at full speed, it’s not debilitating but it certainly feels vulnerable when I am sick and it’s usually when I am better that I realize how sick I have been.

Or when someone points it out right in front of you.

“Oh, you’re sick,” she said, “ok, we’re going to go easy.”

And did we go easy?

Nope.

But.

Ah.

I got some stuff out.

All the stuff that just does not serve and she promised we would finish next week and I believe her.

But when she asked about today and the working, then added: “how do you feel about that?”

I burst into tears.

Um.

I didn’t see that coming.

And that indicates to me that I am sicker than I am letting on.

So this has been a very take it easy sort of day.

I left the scooter at home, took a car to Tart to Tart, then another to the Mission after doing the deal for awhile.

I also got a manicure and a pedicure and chatted with a girl friend I’d lost a little touch with since she’s moved to the East Bay.

“It’s so affordable over here!” She told me.

Yeah.

I hear that.

I’m pretty damn lucky to still be here.

My driver today asked how long I’ve lived in San Francisco and I’m coming up on fourteen years!

It’s a pretty great run.

I found myself a little overwhelmed though, in the Mission.

It’s changed a lot and I know that and I am here all the time and I work here and I commute here and yet, wow, I just got such an eye full and ear full and the bustle and the weird, well, to me, it’s weird, tourists and gawkers and destination people and the conversations and the money.

Whoa.

There is some money on parade here.

Especially on the weekends.

I mean.

I know that I am in it consistently, but I’m here when the work week is happening and I don’t interact with the community the same way.

Hell.

Who am I kidding.

It was not community that I was interacting with today.

Not that I had much interaction, it was mostly observation.

I am pretty happy that I am not living down in this area anymore, despite occasional longings for a shorter commute to and from work and school.

I never thought I would say that.

I always thought I would wind up in a house in the Mission.

Perhaps not.

Of course, there is plenty here that is still good and awesome.

I was just a bit overwhelmed with it and remembered with a lot of nostalgia what it was like the first few times I hung out here and ate here and went to bars and night clubs and danced and shot pool and played poker in the back room at Dalva.

Long soaks in the hot tub at Osento.

I still, once in a while, think, oh, I should go to Osento then realize it’s been closed for years.

Things change.

And that’s ok.

I don’t have to bemoan it or belittle it either.

It was nice to go to dinner with my boys and we went to Tacolicious and were waited on hand and foot and it would have perhaps mortified me to be there in another lifetime, but in this one I was being paid to eat out with the two most handsome little guys ever.

And.

When I was with the boys, I didn’t notice the hoi poi and the hulllabaloo and the commerce and the scene and be seen.

I just enjoyed walking along a street, Valencia, that I have walked down many, many, many times before, remember New College?

Remember when Ritual opened?

I do, I was there day one, third latte of the day.  Same for Four Barrel, before they were open, grabbing coffees from the back of the store where the roasters were.

Remember the KFC!

A street where I have played and worked and sat in cafes.

A street I have written blogs on, poetry on, had sex on, well not on the street itself and now that I think about it, ha!  No.  I have hooked up on Valencia.

Heh.

Anyway.

I digress and yes, this lady is a little tired.

So.

Movie night the rest of the night and some hot tea and just sitting back until the parents get home.

Then a ride out to my home, my sweet, quiet, laid back, sleepy little studio.

Down by the sea.

But still, yes, still.

In San Francisco.

Where my heart lives.

Where I wear my flowers in my hair.

Where else, would I be?

Well.

Burning Man.

But that’s another blog.

 

This Is Actually Happening

February 25, 2016

Holy shit.

Sometimes things do really just fall the hell into place.

I got a job offer for playa nanny this morning.

Granted, there are things to work out, logistics, meeting the family, etc.

But.

After a half hour conversation we’re pretty much in agreement.

I’m going to Burning Man.

I’M GOING TO BURNING MAN!!

I’M….

Ok.

Well.

Ha.

You can tell I’m freaking excited.

Plus, despite always wanting a little more time for myself to go and play, I really do feel connected when I am being of service.

Nannying on playa is definitely being of service.

The negotiating that I really need to do is going to be with the family I am currently employed with.

I would be taking it as unpaid time off as when I head off to my school retreat for a week I will be using the last of my vacation time with them.

They were really amenable with me about it last year.

I think perhaps because the mom has gone a number of times and also, I do a damn good job with their boys and I didn’t have a single sick day last year, nor have I had one ever, since I have started working for them.

I did take sick time to go see my father when he was in a coma up in Anchorage.

Hell.

My family flew me there on their dime.

And I had only been working for them for a few months at that point.

I am not too worried that they will be able to be flexible with me.

I certainly am with them.

For instance.

Tomorrow I’m staying a half hour late so they can handle some neighborhood duties.

Then Friday, the boys don’t have school, so I agreed to come in 10a.m.-6p.m. versus the 1p.m.-8p.m. the rest of my week normally is.

Anyway.

I am over the moon.

I’ll get the ticket, the early arrival pass, looks like they want 8-9 days on playa, a great location–on the Esplanade! Where I have never camped before.  The camp is big and has it’s own set up–kitchen, shower trailer, I’d be put up in A/C and not have to worry about a trailer or RV or, god forbid, a tent aka a dust coffin, plus a ride there and back.

And compensation for my time.

I told them what I make as a nanny for my current family and I believe we are going to negotiate a flat rate, they need steady flexibility more than they need an eight hour straight shift, I said I can be their on call person, and I will have time off to go do the deal.

I was very upfront with that need.

I have to do some regular check ins either at Stella, Run Free, or Anonymous Village.

Because that’s how I roll.

And I’m a better nanny for it.

Believe me.

Pinch me.

It’s the last week in February and I’ve got my playa happening.

I’ve been writing about it now, as I mentioned previously, for a few weeks now.

I think I got a Jack Rabbit Speaks and there was something in it about a tax or thing that the BLM wanted to charge the event and I recalled thinking, damn, it’s time to get my ducks in a row regarding the event and figure out how I’m going.

I mean.

There was never really a question that I was going to go.

I knew I was.

Just not sure how.

I remember with great fondness one of my dear friends hugging me fiercely at the going away party I had in Dolores Park before I moved to Paris saying to me, “I’ll see you at Burning Man.”

I was like.

Of course you will!

I don’t know how, since I’m moving to France, but yes, of course, I’ll be there.

And.

Ha.

I was.

In fact, the person who referred me to the family that needs help this upcoming event, was the family I worked for when I got back.

Funny enough, I had already met the mom and dad and the oldest sibling and the grandmother at Lightening in a Bottle a few years ago and had gotten introduced to them in regards to hey, this is a person you should chat with about bringing kids to Burning Man.

And voila.

A few years later.

Here I am getting approached by them.

I love Burning Man.

You might have figured this out.

I am a Burner.

Yup.

One of those people.

And in my own small, rather sweet, if I may say so, way I am a contributor.

Nope.

I don’t built the art or make the music.

But once in a while you may see me dancing in camp to my own private song and feel for a moment that you too can dance.

Or maybe you’ll see me on the street and I’ll point the way forward.

Or best of all.

I will get to look after the littlest ones, the babies and toddlers, the young shining faces, brush away the dust, you will see the shine, so the mom’s and dad’s can go do their work.

I support the people that bring you the event.

And I am damn proud of that.

I’m not one of a kind, there are more playa nannies than one would imagine.

It takes a village, a huge village, to plan that thing out in the desert.

I get to go home again.

I am so thrilled.

Shameless with delight.

One day I will get married out there and my family, my friends, my children, all the soft, trusting hands in my hand, all the strolls through Center Camp Cafe, all the braids and flowers in the hair, all the joy, will accompany me out to the base of the Calico Mountains and sing me forward.

I know exactly how hokey that sounds.

And I don’t give a flying fuck.

It’s all about the love and the giving back.

I get to do both and get taken care of.

Glorious.

This life of mine.

LUcKIEST FUCKING GIRL IN THE WORLD.

Seriously.

 

I Love It When You Hold Me

January 30, 2016

He whispered and held my arm tight, kissing my hand.

My heart just broke wide open.

Careful kid.

I’m hormonal.

“Carmen, you’re going to put me to bed tonight?” The three year old asked me.

“Yes,” I said, “mommy and daddy are at a school function.”

“I love it when you put me to bed,” he said and hugged me.

I love it too.

Despite it being Friday.

Despite it being the end of the week and the end of the day.

I love it too.

The boys were very sweet today and we had a lot of time together, it rained, so mostly indoors and mostly coloring and building train tracks.

I would have happily gone out for a walk with them, but neither of them were inclined to put on rain boots and rain coats and stomp outside in puddles.

I always loved a good puddle stomp when I was a kid.

Warm summer rainstorms in the Midwest might be one of the best things ever.

Perhaps only second to snuggling down with a sweet boy.

“Sing me a song,” he whispered.

I obliged.

“Hold me,” he tugged my arm, “snuggle down with me.”

Ah kid.

You really are a wonder and I really felt my heart grow fifteen sizes too big for my chest.

Human contact is so important, being held, being touched.

I do it pretty unconsciously with the boys, rubbing their backs, holding their hands, letting them clamber up in my lap, rest their warm bodies against mine, little pack animals.

I feel a little sad with it sometimes.

Sometimes I want to be the one being held.

But there is a comfort to know that I am being taken care of.

I know that pretty intrinsically.

And being maudlin is not a help.

Just the sound of the rain, the sound of the beating child’s heart, feeling it bloom and fade under the palm of my hand, the soft rise and fall of the chest, the warm breath, and the slow fall into sleep.

So close your eyes close as I fall asleep.

There is something so delicious about being held when falling asleep.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

I haven’t had the experience recently, my memories sustain me.

My own sense of love and purpose lifts me.

Even when I catch myself falling into sadness I know that I am held and that is good enough, the knowing is good enough.

And the ability, the capacity to love and love another, no matter what the reciprocation, is a tremendous gift.

I used to think that there was not enough love, not enough, anyway for me.

Now I know that there is an ever widening, continuously deepening, ocean, with swells of love that I will get to cast my small little seed pod of a boat upon.

I imagine a curled leaf.

A dandelion lion fluff of seeds as my sail.

An acorn cup.

A tiny wisp of love floating like eiderdown over the tides.

Excuse me while I wipe the speck from my eye.

No that is not a tear.

Ha.

Ah.

So it goes.

Another Friday night and I ain’t got nobody/I got some money ‘cuz I just got paid.

There is that.

Pay day.

Pay the rent day.

Little low on funds, but not bad.

Rent and utilities all covered for February and I should be getting a disbursement from my student loans by February 10th.

I also should have my tax return pretty quick.

I got a new pair of shoes in my sights.

Everything else is pretty on point, no need to shell out any money.

I may get some clothes when the tax return hits and the rest of it I think I shall sock away for my trip to New York in May.

And potentially another small trip, again, depending on what the family’s needs are and whether or not I am taking vacation pay for the time they are away or I am doing household stuff for them while they are away.

I’ve juggled a couple of ideas in my head, but nothing so far as stuck.

I will probably end up staying here and doing the infamous “staycation.”

Which means, I’ll probably do homework.

Ha.

Speaking of.

I do have a confirmed lunch date and study session with a friend from school for this Sunday.

Tomorrow I meet with my person and hang out in the Inner Sunset for a bit.

Grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, doing the deal.

Pretty mellow day.

Pretty mellow weekend.

I’m thinking about making gumbo tomorrow night.

Other than that I don’t have anything going on.

This, I am told, is not a bad thing.

I know this.

But sometimes the brain gets going and the judgement machine gets turned on and I wonder what the fuck I am doing working on a Friday night and cooking on a Saturday and doing homework on a Sunday.

What fucking fun am I?

Or.

I think, hmm, look, all this lovely time, an expanse to lavish myself with self-care and love and good food, with rest, and nurturing.

I get to see a friend on Sunday and I get to see my person tomorrow.

I’m getting a manicure.

I’m getting on my scooter, the weather is supposed to lift, and I am excited to ride her around a bit.

I’m keeping up with my homework so I won’t be overwhelmed for my next weekend of classes.

I’m doing just fine.

The house is quiet.

The boys are asleep.

The rain falls in the back yard dropping down on the palmetto leaves and splashing on the flagstones.

The moon rises behind the clouds.

I sit in the throne room in my heart and wait.

 

I do not have to know for what.

Or whom.

I await.

I do not have to know.

I just know.

 

 


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