Posts Tagged ‘boys’

Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.

And.

I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.

Or.

I should say.

He ran into me.

Literally.

Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.

And.

Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?

Now.

8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.

Past.

And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Seriously.

Advertisements

Oh The Things People

March 7, 2017

Google

Cocaine and vodka enema.

Still going strong.

What?

It’s an old blog post, one I wrote six, maybe seven years ago.

And yet.

It still gets hits, every day.

EVERY DAY.

I haven’t read it since I wrote it, I almost never re-read the blogs after I have published them.

Oh.

Once and a while I do, or I might go back and do a fast edit on a piece.

Occasionally I will go back and re-read one if someone comments on it in a particular way, but for the most part, I write them, I send them out to the Universe, then I move the fuck on.

I can’t see who reads my blogs.

This is probably a good thing.

Although.

I can figure out once in a while that someone has a thing for one of the pieces I have written.

Perhaps it is about them.

I suspect an ex boyfriend of reading a certain blog I posted after our break up.

I have no recollection what I wrote.

But I do know that it resonated with a lot of people, I had folks coming out of the wood work to share about how they had gotten through a painful break up or that what I had written helped them through a break up.

Or when I was in Anchorage while my father was in a coma.

Tons of response to those blogs.

And often someone reads a blog and suddenly I’m getting something sent in the mail or someone is helping me out when I’ve been in a pinch.

All those kind, sweet, generous, anonymous folks who helped when I had the horrible ankle incident.

Or when I was the starving, literally at times, artist in Paris and I got some support from unexpected places.

I have been given a lot from this blog.

Sometimes it bites me in the ass.

Words that make me cringe, sometimes with gratitude, sometimes with a hand thwack to my forehead, when I am told the following, “I read you blog.”

Well.

Fuck me.

That can be great.

And.

Sometimes.

Well.

Not so great.

Doesn’t seem to matter how many times I write it here, I am more than my blog, you are not getting the full Carmen Show, but.

You do get a great bit of it and despite my protestations, people will read what they want to read and see what they want to see.

I have had people tell me they read my blog then tell me a completely different narrative than the one I wrote.

It makes me laugh.

We all see what we need to see, what we want to see, not necessarily what is reality.

Not my place to teach or direct or give a damn, I suppose, I’m trying here just like I’m trying elsewhere, just to tell my story in this moment.

The moment changes.

I change.

Things change.

But folks keep reading certain things and though I jest about that blog, it’s about recovery and I find it sort of funny that it gets so many hits, but maybe someone gets what they need from it.

No directions though.

No “how to” there.

Just a sad story about a sick woman, and not me, it wasn’t about me, (but I bet you a dime that most folks think it is me writing about me) it was about a woman my friend was dating and the things that they would do when they were fucked up.

Oh the things we do when we are fucked up.

The stories I have heard.

Funny, hilarious.

Fucking tragic.

I’ve been criticized for putting too much out there, cautioned too.

I have had moments when I absolutely agreed and other times where I felt like, fuck off, I’m not interested in editing myself more than I already do.

I do edit myself.

I don’t write about it all.

I think about it sometimes, but I have made amends twice about things that I have written here and both times it was painful enough to make it very clear to me that the only person I can ever write about here is me.

My experiences.

My pain.

My joy.

My life.

No one else’s.

Oh.

Sure.

I do live in relation to other humans, so there are interactions, but I don’t presume to write about people, I can observe, but I can not hurt another person.

Because.

I could.

Oh.

I could be a scathing fucking bitch about some of the things that I have heard or witnessed or had done to me.

But.

Well.

I would end up getting hurt then and this is a place where I come to heal and to learn.

If I wasn’t still learning seven years of blogging later I wouldn’t still be doing this, if it didn’t fulfill some need in me I would have stopped.

There is still so much to write about though.

Which is just fucking lovely.

I’ll keep writing until there’s not, and maybe, I will still keep writing then, because things change, even the past changes, more will be revealed and when it is, well, I want to be there to bear witness and to write about that too.

How many times can I write about the House in Windsor and all the things that happened to me there, and all the things that happened that I don’t know that happen.

How many times?

I could write every year about the seasons and the changes in the weather, how the house was never really hot, even in the depths of summer, because of all the old growth oak trees surrounding it.

Or.

The lilac trees the soft rot of the blooms in high July heat and the intangible biting sweetness in cool water when they first bloom in May.

The reminder, always, of how that grass in summer time grew so high in the back yard and how it felt on my bare feet.

Playing catch with a softball with my aunt Marybeth.

Damn.

She had an arm.

Dreaming about the boys I had crushes on at school.

Sitting in my room listening to music on my boom box.

Joining the Columbia House Record club and the utter joy of opening that first cardboard box full of tape cassettes.

Feeling alive and feeling the magic that could happen, feeling like I was just on the other side of a plate of glass and how to get to the other side were everyone else was and how they seemed to know what to do.

I did a lot of pretending.

I did a lot of walking tall and faking it until I made it.

I remember once running into someone I had gone to school with when I was working as the floor manager at the Angelic Brewing Company; he told me how much he had admired me in school, he was a grade or two below me, about how he’d observed the way I walked and how I carried myself, that he had emulated me.

That I had been cool.

I have had many a compliment, but that one haunts me.

I walk tall now, but I am not always so confident.

I love myself more and have less fear of fear.

Although not perhaps less fear.

Just a better way of getting through it.

I love that young girl in that house, she was brave and strong and so much more courageous than I ever gave her credit for.

And beautiful.

I wish she knew how beautiful she was.

Singing to herself in her room, late at night, dreaming of intangible things while cutting out photographs from fashion magazines to collage onto the wall.

And knowing, although not knowing how, exactly.

That one day.

She was going to get the fuck out.

And you know what?

I did.

 

Late Night

October 19, 2016

For a school night blog.

But.

I was just on the phone for over an hour and got to talking and when the conversation is good, the talking it just happens.

I don’t always get a chance to connect with people on the phone.

Like actually a phone conversation.

Not texting.

Not messaging.

Talking.

Communicating.

Sharing.

It has become something special.

I remember when I was a teenager and my sister would get on the phone with a boyfriend and how jealous I was of her sitting in the kitchen on the phone, the long tangle of cord drawn taught as she pulled the receiver further and further away.

Then.

One day.

I was on the phone with a boy.

Oh my heart.

How it pounded when I answered.

And how we talked.

It wasn’t much, the talk, about going to a movie if I recall correctly.

I remember how we had met and it was cute.

In a total nerd kind of way.

It was at a debate meet.

Yeah.

I know.

I was captain of the debate team for three years.

Shut up.

Oh!

Hahaha.

I just remembered his name, Jeff.

I don’t recall his last name, probably better, leave the innocent boy out of it.

He approached me in the lunch room at the visiting school where our team won our first ever debate.

I was a senior that year.

That was the year that we swept.

That was an amazing year.

We started to win.

I had finally figured it out, not really, I have never really figured it out, I still cannot figure it out, oh how I wish I could figure it out, maybe if I think harder about it I can figure it out.

Oops.

Sorry digressed.

Anyway, the team was doing great.

Irony?

Our debate coach was sick that day.

He had sent us off alone.

We were alone!

I mean, I think about that now and I wonder, did we even have a chaperone?

Of course, there was the bus driver.

But for the most part I think we went in there and ran the tournament completely on our own.

Perhaps it was that freedom and the lack of pressure.

Perhaps it was that I was feeling myself.

I can even remember what I was wearing, which hello, that was a long time ago, but it felt special, I felt special in my clothes, not something I often did when I was in high school.

The funny thing.

I was wearing men’s silk pajama pants.

And I’m not sure how the hell I had come across them, but I loved those pants, they were a soft sky blue with piping and I felt sophisticated and I was wearing a white button down shirt and black suede flats that were really too small for my feet but so adorable that I had bought them anyhow and loved them to death and wore them until they did fit.

I remember meeting Jeff in the cafeteria.

And he remembered me.

He remembered me from another school event a year prior.

Not even debate.

It was a forensic’s event.

I also, yes, nerding out some more, was on the forensics team.

I had done poetry then got introduced to extemporaneous speaking, which it turns out I was really good at.

Jeff remembered me from that, from the year before.

He remembered.

And I was high on the feeling of doing well at that debate, that we were doing well, although it wasn’t until after lunch until after the third round and making it to the finals and then finding out how well we had done, that I realized, this boy was flirting with me.

This boy liked me.

Oh.

Oh!

Oh my gosh.

You like me.

Insert obligatory Sally Field reference and no I’m not that old, fuck you.

I mean.

You really like me.

Holy shit.

I am so blown away.

It still didn’t completely dawn on me.

I was too high from winning.

Yeah.

We won, our first time ever that I had been on the debate team, we won, and it felt really good, I mean so very good to carry that trophy back to school and leave it as a surprise for the debate coach, Mister Stewart, to find that next Monday morning.

He was over the moon and kicking himself for not having been there.

I remember too how the team ran up the auditorium in the darkness toward that bright lit stage, how they pushed me forward to take the trophy, how it felt in my hands.

I said something, thank you I’m sure, accepted it on the behalf of our out sick coach and walked back to our seats with it heavy in my arms and a bit dazed and dreamlike.

We passed it around.

Every one got to hold it.

Then.

On the bus heading back to school.

They team decided I should carry it home.

I held it in my hands the whole way back.

I also realized as we were pulling into the school parking lot that not only was I coming back with this enormous first place trophy, but also that a boy, Jeff, had asked me for my phone number and holy moly, I had given it to him.

Would he call?

He did.

As it turns out.

I was brushing my hair.

My sister had dashed down the stairs to answer it and I hadn’t bothered to move, it was never for me anyhow.

“CARMEN!” She hollered up the back stairs, “it’s for you, and it’s a boy!”

Oh my God.

I don’t remember what we talked about.

I just remember the sunlight streaming through the window in the kitchen nook and how it struck the linoleum and how the phone cord looked wrapped around my fingers, the yellow curling cord proclaiming to the world–a boy had called for me.

It’s a powerful thing being wanted.

I don’t know that I have ever quite understood it.

I don’t suppose I ever will.

My friend tonight on the phone said I was blind.

And.

Perhaps I am.

Blindly fumbling my way along, heart on my sleeve, trying to not try to figure it out.

Trying to not be breathless and teary.

Trying and failing.

Falling under and over and for.

I have fallen for some and thought.

I should not.

No.

I should not.

I have thought of that often today.

And then.

It happens and there is no disentangling the cord.

There is only the acknowledgement, like the sunlit kiss curl of phone cord winding around my fingers, of love.

Here.

There.

In between the lines on the page.

In the shadow of the oak tree dappled with sunlight.

On a full mooned night.

Even when it has waned.

Love.

Love.

It is everywhere.

And So It Begins

August 1, 2016

I just dropped a nice fat $200 on books.

I started ordering my text books for the fall semester.

Considering how much reading there is to do and that I will be going once again to that thing in the desert, it was time to whip out the debit card and get online.

I did not really want to.

I just paid rent.

But.

I figure if I can be adult and self-supporting to get my ass to Burning Man.

I certainly can begin ordering my text books.

Besides I really will have to do a bunch of reading before the event to be prepared for school.

Hell.

I’m going to have to do some reading this week before I head up to the retreat for school, which is next Sunday.

I cannot believe it’s already time for the retreat.

Argh.

But then again.

I can.

The time, it does go fast when you are busy and I have been keeping myself busy for sure, take the last couple of days, just getting the certification for my CPR and First Aid Adult/Child/Infant was a time consuming thing.

But I got it done and I don’t have to do it for a few more years.

It didn’t feel like I had any time off though, it felt very much like work.

I mean.

I don’t know anyone who would choose to do one of these courses for fun and relaxation.

Though.

They can be funny.

There is always that one dude who picks up the baby mannequin like it’s some toy and they get the surprise of their life when the face falls off of it.

Today one guy, who happens to work at a private elementary school, just picked up the baby mannequin by it’s feet and sort of swung it around.

The instructor was horrified and demanded he treat the doll like it was an actual baby.

Alien baby.

But sure.

All kidding aside, I am grateful that I took the course and have a refresher, it’s really good to know, and knock on wood, hopefully I won’t ever have to use it.

After I finished the course I headed over to Oakland for a friend’s housewarming party.

It was really sweet.

And I ran into all sorts of people, some folks who I don’t normally get to see aside from on facecrack or instagram.

Or at Burning Man.

I chatted with folks from Media Mecca, my home away from home, and it was really sweet and good and I felt like I was seeing family.

I like that I get to have this extended community of artists and creatives and hard ass working people who strive to be something, who are engaged with each other, who form this secret little society of folks that I somehow stumbled upon and now can’t imagine being without.

I realized how much I want to be out there anew when I was ordering my books.

I mean.

I don’t want distraction or school thoughts or work worries, I just want my Burning Man.

I will have them, anxiety is just a part of my life, exercise, yoga, the like, that helps, but I have a busy old mind and it will ruminate on anything it can get its hands on.

That being said, I will do as much reading for school as I can before I head up to the event.

It’s probably a good thing that I will be working for my family in Glenn Ellen for two weeks.

I will be forced to be in one spot and spend the evenings reading school material.

I get the impression that I won’t have as many papers to write before the fall semester begins from the classes being held at the retreat, but it does look like there is some pretty heavy reading load for the first weekend of classes and I won’t be in a spot to read at all that week before as that’s Burning Man.

All the thoughts and stuff and things.

Two of my classes don’t have syllabi up yet, so I don’t even know exactly what to expect for the first weekend.

I just can tell from the one class that is listed that there is going to be a lot.

Graduate school.

Second year.

Hard to believe.

But there it is.

Time just keeps moving on.

I ran into someone who got the same degree I’m working on five years ago.

I had no idea she was a psychotherapist and we chatted and caught up and it was really good to hear her experience and to know that I’m on the right track, for me.

I may not know exactly what it looks like and sometimes I feel a bit confused by the mechanics of the school system, but I do know that I am heading in the direction that seems to be that of private practice.

That’s my hope anyhow.

And she has a private practice and it was really good to hear that she was doing well and that she had a sustaining private practice just five years out from graduating from the program.

In fact, it sounded like she had a decent number of folks follow her from her interning to her own practice.

That would be amaze.

I know I get a head of myself.

It was just really nice to see this lovely over lap of friends and school and recovery and Burning Man and kids, oh I got to see some gorgeous little monkeys and get some great snuggles and hugs, and romp a bit with two of the brightest five and a half year old twin boys.

Oh the tow headed goodness, the smell of sweet baked boy warm and soft and snuggly, it’s like some sort of bread that sustains my heart, the real manna from heaven, the smell of golden boys warm from the sun.

Ah.

Yes.

And so it begins.

But it never really ends, it doesn’t slow down, it just speeds up and I know one day I will look back and wonder how fast it all happened.

So I must take a breath.

Pause.

Breathe.

Look around.

And be grateful for this rich, full, happy life I have.

Truly.

The luckiest girl in the world.

And possibly.

One of the busiest.

But.

In the best possible way.

Seriously.

Excuse Me Waiter

April 2, 2016

There’s a nanny in my soup.

Ugh.

Or soup in the nanny.

Or.

Ha.

Soup all over the nanny.

It’s Friday and of course the weekend is ramping up and there’s a bunch of motion and hustle and bustle and the dog is under foot and the dad’s grilling veggies in the back yard and the mom’s getting ready to go out and the boys are hungry and I was going too fast.

Trying to assuage the three and three-quarters year old, “CARMEN, I’m hungry, I want milky, bread and butter, bread and butter, bread and butter!” heat up my own dinner, get the toast ready for the soup, slice up some apple, get the meds ready for the older boy, and manage to unload the dishwasher all at the same time.

Sometimes.

Well.

I take on too much.

And kersploosh!

The container of broccoli soup splashes out and all over me.

I had broccoli soup down my bra.

Now.

I have had sand in my bra.

Cheerios.

I have had small children wipe runny noses on my shoulders.

I have had babies burp milk, yes, breast milk, freshly pumped by mom, in my hair.

That’ll teach you.

I started wearing my hair up pretty much right after that incident.

I have been peed on, farted on, vomited on.

I have had milk spilt on me, water, fruit juice.

Melted ice cream.

But never.

No.

Not in all my years of being a nanny, over 9 now, but who’s counting.

Have I ever had a container of broccoli soup dumped over my body.

It was like that Nickolodeon thing where they drop the green goo all over you.

It was cold.

Thank God or I would be blogging from the ER.

When I make it, I blend it hot after a full roiling boil of ten minutes so that the broccoli is super tender and easier to blend.

The mom loves my soup so much I make quadruple batches of it.

Usually enough to get through the week and over the weekend.

I suspect I will be making more broccoli soup when I go to work on Monday.

Oh well.

Broccoli soup in my socks.

That could be a great band name.

Broccoli soup on my leggings, on my jean shorts, in and on my nanny clogs.

Thank God for the dog.

SERIOUSLY.

Broccoli soup all over the fridge too and on the floor.

It was a great big mess.

I made light of it, I got it cleaned up with much help from the dad.

I got most of the soup off my clothes.

But.

I was two and a half hours out from the end of the day and the mom had plans and the dad was still working and well.

Gah.

I spent the rest of my day at work smelling like broccoli.

I was channeling Dana Carvey on SNL and chopping broccoli like no ones business.

I stank.

Of course, no one said so and when I went to do the deal, I was warmly welcomed, hugged, and loved on, but I felt awful.

My belly was moist from soup and my bra felt sticky and my socks were green.

Then someone walked in with no shoes on and abscesses all over his arms.

And.

Well.

I was just fine.

Granted.

Happy to get on my scooter after ward and get myself home and into a very hot shower, but fine, really, nobody needed to cry over spilt soup, let alone I.

I think I rolled with it pretty well.

It’s funny, though, sometimes the small stuff can get me the worst.

It is also a great reminder to me to slow the fuck down.

I don’t need to go anywhere this weekend fast.

Despite what my brain says.

And it wants to holler at me.

“YOU GOT WORK TO DO BITCH! GET ON IT!”

Hey.

Shhh.

Thanks for sharing.

I got this.

“I am so glad you are taking a break and doing something social,” my dear, darling, much missed doctor friend told me on the phone as we briefly caught up and confirmed that we would be seeing each other at the birthday party tomorrow.

I am so excited to see her.

Like.

Way excited.

I also confirmed that I would be able to make her son’s first birthday party, in fact, it will be a sweet little reunion of sorts with three of my friends and a very special reminder of the time that we spent at Burning Man just a few years back.

I will be letting myself have some nice social time tomorrow.

I might freak out about the amount of work I have yet to do, there’s more reading than I want to be acknowledging–a chapter of a book got uploaded for one of my classes and it’s far longer than I was expecting–and my Ethics class has a little more reading than I was expecting, but I got an good solid hour today in this morning as well as my morning routine.

And the papers will get written.

They always do.

I saw a friend on facecrack that just turned in her dissertation for her PhD and I was like, shit, I don’t have time for that, how am I ever going to get to that point.

And it was such a clear signal for me to slow down.

Appreciate what I do have.

First.

I don’t smell like broccoli soup anymore.

Second.

I get to connect with my friends tomorrow.

I am also going to do some nice self-care and get my mani/pedi on and an eyebrow wax.

I will do the deal.

I may do some yoga too.

Depends on how early I want to get up.

Either way.

I am making sure I get eight hours of sleep.

I am not scrimping on my sleep.

Or on my recovery.

Nope.

And I’m not fucking writing a dissertation right now either.

Just a couple, er, three, papers.

I’ll be ok.

It’s ok.

I’ve probably already spent more time being anxious about writing the papers then I will actually spend time on writing the papers.

Because.

That’s what I do.

That too, is just fine.

Tonight is not the night to beat myself up.

Not that there ever really is a good time for that.

Tonight is the night to be grateful to be clean, that I have laundry on site, free, not coin-op, that I have had a superb hot shower and I am wearing my favorite lotion and smell heavenly.

I have another cup of tea queued up and hour to wind down and relax.

Tomorrow can wait.

I just have today.

And today.

Was perfect.

Broccoli soup and all.

 

I Want My Privilege Back!

April 9, 2015

He screamed.

He could barely breathe.

He slapped me.

He kicked me.

He threw himself around the room.

He was naked.

No.

This is not a picture of any man I have dated.

Second thought.

Yes.

It actually could be, but not any one I have dated recently (at least not in the last fifteen years), I swear.

Just the little guy I work for, the big boss, the 2 and 3/4 boy who also whipped a metal fork so hard across the table that it bounced up and smashed into a window.

I pulled him up and took him out of the high chair and there was no more dinner.

I pulled him up and took him out of the bath after the three count.

“M………. please stop throwing water out of the tub,” I said.

“M…………second time, please stop tossing water out, I will take you out, I will.”

“M………..last time, dude, you can enjoy the rest of bath time or you can get out.”

“M…………you lost your privilege, let’s go, out of the tub.”

I had already asked his older brother to pull the drain plug up, bath time was about to be over anyhow, which was a blessing, I was about done in today, although not as bad as yesterday.

Despite the little guys nap being shorter today, I actually managed my time better and made myself sit down and eat and rest.

I have to be on point.

Tomorrow begins Spring Break.

Which means I have both boys full throttle, all things go, zoom.

For the next two days and then Monday through Thursday of next week.

The nice thing, though, the family is taking a long weekend next weekend, and yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, I have next Friday off.

Three day weekend!

I haven’t gotten there yet, I still have a nice weekend a head of me and two days of two boys yet to go.

I will be going in a half hour early every day from tomorrow on until the family leaves for their mini vacation.

This is balanced by being able to leave a half hour early.

But I was a little resentful this morning and had a lot of chatter in my head about how it was going to go today and what I was being asked to do, some extra work, some extra time with the boys, all the marketing, cooking, laundry, etc.

You know.

Work.

So I did some inventory and sent it off in a voicemail and what do you now.

The chatter stopped and I was present.

Present to go with the little guy to BiRIte and get some really nice fruit to have around the house for the next couple of days.

Present to make a really nice meal for the family (marinated chicken breasts in my own marinade–orange juice, tangerine zest, grape seed oil, sea salt, black pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic–with sushi rice and corn on the cob for the parents and for the boys toasted Acme bread with smoke whitefish salad and avocado plus fruit salad from all the nice fruit I picked up at BiRite).

Present to snuggle with the monkeys when they needed snuggling, to see the park from their eyes, to run around Dolores Park and ride the wiggly slide and sit by the sandbox and watch them bury dinosaur eggs (I mean, duh, the Easter Bunny brought them dinosaur eggs, not peeps, please) that I had filled with “special snacks” to lure them out of the house with and to the park.

Present to laugh and sing and be jolly and silly and do my job.

“You just get to practice telling the family that your priority is going to be the boys and being present and energized for them,” she suggested to me over the phone.  “Which means, that you take a break when you need to, you sit down to eat lunch, you let some things slide.”

Ack.

I don’t like letting things slide.

I always want to be on top of it all.

I want the dishes not only loaded in the dishwasher, but I want the timing to be so that it coincides with the sushi rice being made in the rice cooker, so that I can unload said dishwasher and have all the food wrapped and prepped and washed and chopped and managed.

I want the laundry folded and arranged, with towels ready by the bath and pajamas, tops and bottoms and little boy, er excuse me, “big boy” underpants, at the ready, so that after bath time I can transition them to be ready for their parents and go to bed as I am leaving.

No such luck tonight.

I had a banshee of a little boy, running naked up and down the hall screaming about wanting his privilege back.

“IWANTMYPRIVILEGEBACK!!!”

I finally got him settled down and though breathing heavily and wriggling like only a slippery two-year old boy can, I brushed back his hair and said, “M……….., I have something for you.”

I held out my hand, flat, offered it to him.

“This is for you.”

He looked at my empty hand.

He looked at me.

“Here’s your privilege bunny, you can have it back.”

He snatched it out of my hand and ran back to the bathtub and tried to climb back in.

My tactic backfired.

He wailed when he saw that all the water had drained out.

“I want my bath!” He yelled and cried, and I knew I was about done.

I only have to get through the next ten minutes.

That’s all.

And the dad came up and helped and the Meow Meow was found and the pajamas got in and then.

Oh.

“M………… can you tell Carmen thank you,” the dad said.  “Can you give her a hug.”

He launched himself at me, “thank you Carmen!”

He kissed me, both sides, European style, sloppy, wet, heavy, delicious kisses.

“I love you.”

Sigh.

Kid.

I love you too.

And you get all your privileges.

I promise.

I really can’t deny you a one.

Because, ultimately.

The privilege is all mine.

See you bright and early in the morning.

Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

(What a horrible saying, who still says this?)

Tomorrow is another day full of privilege.

Sunshine.

Love.

Adventure.

And boys.

Keep On

October 2, 2014

Keeping on.

I am making it through.

For the first time since I started the new job I did not feel exhausted when I got home.

I even made a pit stop for an hour at 7th and Irving and saw some folks I haven’t seen in a while.  That was super nice and relaxing and the ride home down Irving Street was chill too.

Lovely that the construction is done at Sunset and Irving and the dip down towards the sea was smooth sailing with very little traffic in sight.

I felt like I was flying.

My body seems to be getting adjusted to the work, which is harder than the work I had previous, the boys are bigger, and older than the previous little guys I was working with and the picking up and carrying around is making some inroads on my muscles.

The bicycle commute is getting easier too and I realized when I was stopped at a traffic light that I had not thought once about my ankle the entire day.

It seems I am having some acclimation.

Which I knew I would, but until it actually happens, is hard to fathom.

The job is going smooth and I am also starting to find a routine for myself and I have started setting little systems into place to help me stay on top of the ever mounting pile of boy stuff that needs handling every day.

They are such boys.

Rocks.

Dirt.

Sand.

Balls.

More rocks.

Bugs.

One of the boys actually discovered a chrysalis in the park and the butterfly just emerging on the leaf and drying its wings.

We were able to pick it up, careful to not touch the wings themselves, and watch it slowly open and close the wings until it was dry enough to fly.

Aside from the littlest guy when he naps, it was the stillest I have seen the boys.

They are in constant motion.

I can see why the other nanny didn’t want to work more than 40 hours a week, it’s exhausting keeping up with them.

And she’s 29.

I’m 41.

But, I have to say, I’m holding my own and enjoying my time with the family.

They are smart, capable, sweet people, who are really involved with their lives and their children are a reflection of that.

I feel super lucky to have gotten the job and when the mom apologized for the melee of yesterday evening with the double play date, I felt like hugging her, it’s nice to be acknowledged for my efforts and I am being seen for what I do.

I am being seen everywhere by people I have no clue who they are, but they notice too.

I have had a number of moms come up to me and say hello, recognizing either myself or the boys.

So many, in fact, that I am losing track of who I have met and which kids belong to whom.

But, I like that too, there’s a definite community of families in the neighborhood and I like that I am a part of that community.

It certainly makes me cheerful to engage with the people.

I never had that while I was nannying in Cole Valley.

I am not sure why exactly that is, but in the Mission I feel really connected to the neighborhood and the folks around the block where the boys live.

It has a definite neighborhood vibe to it.

Oh.

There’s the hustle and bustle of the Mission as well, and drug users, and derelicts, and pot heads, and homeless, but for what ever reason, not so much on the block they live on, it’s just enough removed from the ruckus that can get ahold of the Mission at times and make it a little rough and tumble around the edges.

All in all.

The job is working out.

I am grateful.

I am also grateful for the little epiphany I had this morning when I was doing my morning routine.

I have been reflecting on finances and financial aid and applying for it and what am I going to do as I don’t have a full year’s income on the books and I realized.

Oh.

I could file my taxes and include the income that I made off the books.

Yes.

I will probably owe money for taxes, but fingers crossed, I’ll have enough taken out for having claimed zero, to cover some of that.

I have records of what I spent and took in for every month in the year and I have saved all my receipts, and I have all my expenses noted that are in conjunction with work.

I know how much I made and I can declare it.

I guess that means I am really serious about going to graduate school.

I want to have a clean tax return to reflect honestly how much money I made, am making for this fiscal year, and to do the right thing and file a proper return.

I want to be able to apply for financial aid.

I won’t be able to do graduate school without taking on financial aid.

But I won’t be able to go forward trying to get in without being honest about my money.

It was revelatory.

Simple.

Honest.

Clean.

I laughed out loud when I realized that the one thing in my head that has been nagging at me was that I wasn’t planning on filing taxes properly for this year, how was I going to pull it over FAFSA’s head and get away with claiming less than I made so that I could get a larger loan package.

How about I just file properly and let what ever happens with financial aid happen.

If I don’t get aid.

Well.

I don’t go.

But if I don’t get aid because I was dishonest about my tax filing, then I am an asshole.

I don’t need to sabotage myself.

Honesty.

Today’s principle.

I still don’t want to claim my income, but that’s not going to stop me from actually doing the work.

When I know the work needs to be done, I can feel it in my gut and I am glad for it.

And things move forward.

And change happens.

Look ma!

I’m changing.

For the better, I might add.

Minnehaha

July 1, 2014

Say it again.

Say it again.

I laughed as my best friend repeated the word.

She has a certain way with word.

It was so good to hear and so good to reconnect and to make jokes and know what she was referring to.

Not many folks know me so well or for so long.

It is a blessing to have her.

Plus.

Her boys.

Oh such boys.

And I miss my boys, who I cannot wait to see next Monday and be reunited with and hear their voices and get back into the thick of being a nanny.

Which also means getting back into the thick of preparing for Burning Man.

Sidebar.

My boss sent me a text asking me what I would like my job title to be, she threw out a few suggestions as well as asking if I was still going to be MFP.

Mary Fucking Poppins.

Yes.

That’s the name.

And my job title?

“Not your Nanny.”

I have been asked a few times to nanny others, not just other children either, but that’s another blog entirely.

I sent off a quick e-mail to my boss with a photograph and I will have a laminate for the event, as well as a leash (radio, which is why I need a playa name to be on communications with my family) at the event.

The Burning Man preparations will begin in earnest once I return.

But until then.

Back to the boys.

The tow headed trio of brothers that I got to sniff and kiss and hug and squeeze and tickle and hold and share stories with and oh.

Did my heart so good.

And the eldest now has me on his Instagram and yeah.

The love palpable.

I am not Auntie Bubba to them, that is my family moniker, I am Auntie Bubba for my nieces (“Auntie Bubba, what is your real name?” My eldest niece asked me when she was twelve.  “You know my name,” I said and smiled, pushing the bangs off her face and away from her rich hazel eyes.  “Carmen,” she said, with just that little uptick at the end that was more question than statement of fact. “But can I still call you Auntie Bubba?” Always my love, always.), rather I am Auntie Carmen.

Which is really quite wonderful and made me just swell with a sort of familial pride that I know is not exactly blood related, but some friends, well, they are more family than family and my friend has seen me through a lot.

To be considered an auntie for her brood is an honor indeed.

I just wish I was more capable in my body to run around with them and play and hold them and tumble about.

There will be more walking boot in my future than walking, while I am about the boys though, I realized quite quickly that I would be protected better if I continue to wear it.

Though I would love for that part of my story to be done, that walking boot is going to get a burial at sea if I have my way, I will be keeping it about for the duration of my visit.

And boy howdy am I grateful that I took everyone’s advice about the wheelchair.

First, SFO was packed this morning, long lines, folks leaving from Pride weekend, just a lot of folk up and about and checking in.

I went to the agent and I saw an elderly couple getting ushered inside via wheelchair and for a moment felt like a complete fraud, then the ticketing agent saw my foot, and radio, “bring another wheelchair out to the gate.”

“Have you checked in?” He asked.

I handed over my identification and he printed off my boarding pass, “go sit inside and they will come and get you and bring you right to the gate.”

That was exactly what happened.

By passed the line.

Sailed right on through, got my stuff through the x-ray machines, but I had to get a personal pat down from the security team, a woman, who was quick and thorough, plus having my palms swiped for chemicals and they swabbed the walking boot too.

After that, straight to the gate and right to the front of the line and the first person on the plane after the flight team boarded.

Nice.

I did not up grade to a different seat, the flight was booked, but I was able to rearrange myself and use the bathroom facilities before the rest of the plane boarded.

I was deep into my book before I even realized that the plane was boarded and heading out to the runway.

A quick flight.

A few videos.

A few chapters in my book.

A nap.

Then landing.

And upon exiting the plane, again, no need to ask, there was a member from the airplane company standing by with another wheelchair.

He waved me over and I got settled in.

I told him that they had decided to check my bag and I needed to go to baggage claim and right then and there you might as well have crowned me with my own princess tiara, I got to ride in the cart to the baggage pick up.

It was awesome.

I would have been way overwhelmed on my own.

The distance would have been really challenging and it took about five minutes in the cart to get there.

Walking it would have been twenty, even with the little conveyor belts scattered throughout the terminal.

I was able to get my bag, and sit for a little bit with a coffee and read another chapter in my book, then my friend got me and we just drove around Minneapolis, went through Uptown, Tangle Town, Hennepin, Grand Ave, and the nearby environs, drove around Harriet Lake, and even went to Minnehaha Falls.

Lunch at Sea Salt and dinner and coffee at Wise Acre.

Plus the best company on earth and then the return to Hudson, crossing the Mississippi and the St. Croix rivers to Wisconsin.

A tumble on the kitchen floor, lap full of boys eager to tell me about the homemade welcome cake they had made in the afternoon, hugs from the papa, after I disentangled from the three boys and then more hugs, tea with the boys, and they had cake, then story time on the couch.

My heart feels full and fat and heavy with love.

And it’s just day one here in Hudson.

I still get to have another four days.

Huzzah!


%d bloggers like this: