Posts Tagged ‘dad’

Kindness

March 10, 2017

I was blown away by a conversation I had with my boss today.

It started out as a bit of a joke around how I didn’t strike yesterday for International Hooha day yesterday.

That’s Women’s Day for you.

But you know what I mean.

I told her it just didn’t feel right to strike on my job when I work for a mom who runs her own business and has three children.

We joked a bit and the conversation turned to family and I found myself sharing things with her that I have not shared with previous employers.

I found myself sharing as though she were my friend.

Cautiously.

Yes.

I mean I needn’t go into gory details.

But.

I did tell her a bit more about my family.

Specifically my dad.

Which I found myself quietly feeling out the words to explain the relationship and also, and here I was really surprised by my openness, that I was thinking about going and seeing him this July when the family is traveling in Europe.

They will be gone for three weeks.

And.

I was just told tonight as I was leaving that they have the dates for their trip and also the dates for a work trip the dad will be taking at the end of this month.

I am going to help out while he is away for a week.

I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I will be helping out more.

I also suspect that I won’t mind at all.

She, the mom, is really becoming my friend and it’s a different relationship with a boss than I have had.

Granted.

I have had some amazing.

AMAZING.

Parents that I have gotten to work with.

Let me repeat that.

Amazing.

I am really lucky to call the majority of them my friends.

But I would also say that it was more after the fact than during the beginning of the work relationship.

I just find myself so at ease with her and I feel like I am a different person than the nanny I was when I first started.

I am also much more sure of myself and I am very aware of how good I am.

Which is not ego, but humility.

It would be false pride to belittle what I do or to downplay it.

“I could not do what you do,” my person told me last Saturday, “you really do astound me with how good you are, I still remember how you just pulled out a bag of snacks that one time I ran into you with the boys.”

She recounted a time years back when I was first began doing recovery work with her and I had a nanny gig at the time in Cole Valley.

I ran into her and some fellows and I had one of my charges with me and I had snacks and diapers and back up clothes and milk and wet wipes and god only knows what else, probably a teething ring or three and bags to put wet clothes in and hand disinfectant and the kitchen sink and…

She remembers, though and recounted it, not for the first time, with awe, and I don’t think anything of it, that’s just how I roll, prepared.

There used to be a time though when I was a lot more uncertain of myself and my worth.

I don’t think I was ever uncertain of my abilities, just not of my worth.

I  remember fondly an “intervention” some friends of mine did at Samovar Tea Lounge after I had just moved back from Paris.

It was a combination welcome home and you’re amazing and should be making more money at your job and we want to help you do that.

Eventually all that peer support sunk in and I got the picture.

I started to advocate more for myself and I started to get better jobs.

And now.

Well.

It may really be the best nanny gig I have.

Health insurance.

Paid vacation.

Sick leave.

Invitations to imbibe of their food, nice food, organic food, really nice procured stuff.

I drink nice tea and have all the coffee I could possibly want.

I get to be out and about with my charges.

I have a credit card in my name.

Of course, I can’t get cash with it and they are fully aware of what I use it for, but it’s so handy, I pick up dry cleaning, I use the card, I run to Whole Foods or Rainbow, ditto, I have it to put extra money on the Clipper card (the MUNI pass for the trains), or to take my charges to Dolores Park Cafe for mini pizza.

I have the dream nanny job.

And.

I LOVE my boss.

I feel appreciated, understood, and we talk.

Like we have conversations about the world, the state of the nation under the current administration, art, Paris, Burning Man, San Francisco, homelessness, the mayor, rent and rent control, health insurance, school stuff.

I mean.

I have shared a lot.

So today it was not new exactly, it was just sharing on a slightly deeper level and twice I found myself tearing up in empathy for her kindness and good heartedness and how she just looked at me with her big blue/green eyes and it seemed as though she got it.

She got me.

In fact.

I felt like I was in the field with her.

The field is a psychology term that I liken to be in a therapy session.

There is intuition there and connection and things are seen from both sides, the therapist and the client.

There is often a kind of subconscious connection and things pop up and out and it happened today.

I thought something as she handed me the baby and then she said exactly what I was thinking.

I have found things like that happen to me when I am in tune with another, but I don’t know that it has ever happened with an employer, although as soon as I write that I have curiosity about that statement.

Regardless

It happened.

We connected.

It was a moment of awe that I got to take in and I was just super grateful for her.

And for the little lady bug who tonight when I was making dinner stopped me, looked up, and said, “Carmen I love you, and Carmen,” she said and paused almost shyly, “Carmen, you’re beautiful.”

I stopped stirring the pot and looked at her, this little fairy elven woods creature with big saucer blue eyes and the fey downy blonde eyebrows on her face rose as her eyes widened, and she looked up at me, “you want to hug me now don’t you?”

“Yes,” I do, F__________.”

“Ok.”

I put the wooden spoon down and gathered her up and hugged her.

“I love you too.”

And I do.

Very.

Very.

Very much.

I am such a lucky girl.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And.

I’m also a school girl.

Tomorrow is my first day back to school.

So.

Off to bed I go.

See you on the flip.

Sweet dreams my loves.

Sweet dreams.

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Don’t Mind Me

February 2, 2017

Singing French music slightly off-key at the top of my lungs.

I felt like singing and well.

There you go.

And French music makes me happy, especially when I am listening to a play list that my best French friend made for my on my Spotify.

It’s pretty awesome, a. a friend who makes a play list for you and b. that it’s mostly French music.

Although there’s some English music in there, it feels very apropos as I have been thinking a lot about travel today.

Paris in May.

Ten days.

Ten days.

Oh, let me say it again, ten days in Paris in May.

Paris in Spring.

My heart sings.

My feet tap dance a little, I just did a twirl about my room to the guitars and the vocals of Je t’aime Paris before I sat down to type.

I’m also making some other travel plans.

Puerto Rico.

In, wait for it.

July.

I know.

That sounds nuts.

And it’s actually funny, the only other time I have been to Puerto Rico was actually in July, a friend that I worked with at the Angelic Brewing Company got married there, she and her husband were both from Puerto Rico, what the hell they were doing in Wisconsin, I’m still not sure about.

But.

They wanted to get married in the oldest cathedral in Old San Juan.

Where, apparently, everyone who is Puerto Rican wants to get married.

The wait list was years long.

Unless you got married in the off-season.

Like, um, ha, July.

I think they still had to wait a damn long time for the date they did get, but yeah, it was hot.

But you know where it’s not hot in July?

Yeah.

San Francisco.

The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco.

Mark Twain had it pretty spot on.

Last July was colder than last February.

In fact, I remember making out with a guy last February on the beach, barefoot and it was warm, surprisingly warm, one of the few nights where it was warm enough to be down at the beach and bare foot.

I remember him kissing me and the moon was sinking slow behind me, it was the day after Valentines Day and for whatever reason, I think it might have been ski week for the private school kids I was nannying, I had off that week.

I had school that weekend and then I had gotten dressed up on Valentines Day, passed out Valentines Day cards to my classmates and after class let out, I went up to the Castro and did the deal and spoke a big gay men’s gathering.

I met my Puerto Rican fairy godfather at dinner that night before the meeting.

We hit it the fuck off.

Fast forward to my birthday this past year, he brings me a bag of coffee from Puerto Rico, a jar of Adobo spice, and a guidebook to the 100 best places to go to in Puerto Rico.

He had just gotten back from a business trip there and it turns out is there currently and will be back mid-February.

He will be making a few more trips back for business and one of those trips, yes, in July, I will be going with him.

I wasn’t originally planning July, but July just happened to happen for me.

I found out from my family that they will be going on a big family vacation for three weeks.

I will have three weeks off in July.

THREE.

So.

Definitely Puerto Rico.

I have the airline ticket voucher from when I cancelled my trip to Wisconsin at Christmas.

The airline happens to fly to Puerto Rico.

I am thinking a week there.

Then fly back.

And.

Then.

Alaska.

Yeah.

I know.

Big fucking mood swing travel.

But.

I have always wanted to go up to Alaska during the summer and I have friends that live there and the fellowship is great.

And.

Um.

My dad is there.

I haven’t spoken to him since I left him in a coma in Anchorage two years ago.

I do not know where or why the thought popped into my head, but pop it did and it felt so right it gave me shivers.

“Go see your dad.”

That was not my thought.

It was planted there.

And I realized as soon as I had it that yes, I need to do that.

I’ve got his phone number and I figure I’ll contact the recovery center he’s been staying in and just feel it out.

I certainly don’t want to make a huge deal out of it.

Although, it is a huge deal.

I just felt very compelled to go and see him and do it soon, I don’t need to question it and though I had some trepidation about it, it feels very much like what I need to be doing.

It’s more for me than it is for my dad, I think, I need to heal a bit more around the relationship and I feel that a face to face, eye to eye, would do me some good.

Oh.

I’m sure it will be painful too.

But through that, growth, and I long for growth.

I want to heal those spaces and holes in my heart and be fully capable of saying I did everything I could to rectify my relationships with my parents while I can.

I also, really have wanted to go to Alaska during the summer and I have a couple of friends up there who just got married and it would be great to see them and maybe get out into the wilderness a little and take my camera and explore.

Then.

I had another thought.

Well heck.

Why don’t I go to Portland too?

My sister just moved there with my youngest niece and it’s been a couple of years since I have seen them.

I could fly back from Anchorage to Portland, hang out for a long weekend, then fly to San Francisco.

I looked up flights with the estimated dates of travel and I could do one way tickets, SFO->Anchorage->Portland->SFO.

Total cost.

$361.

I can freaking swing that.

I’m not planning anything yet, I have yet to get confirmed dates from my employers, but I did agree to take some of those days as paid vacation time and they agreed to pay me for my time for the other two weeks.

I had already bought my ticket to Paris when I had interviewed for the job, that vacation and those days off are part of my vacation pay.

Which means, that I will actually get another three weeks paid off.

Mind blowing.

And the right thing to do.

I’m contracted to work for them and I get paid a minimum of 35 hours per week.

They don’t use me for those hours, they pay me regardless.

When I find out dates I will go from there.

I know Puerto Rico is happening.

I will sit on Anchorage and Portland, talk to my people, make sure I’m making a spiritual decision and not an ego centric driven one, but rather be coming from a place of humility.

It’s family and I have challenges navigating family.

I’m doing better than I have ever in my life.

There is that.

But it is still vulnerable for me.

And who knows.

I may be in practicum and be tied to the city, so who knows.

No plans yet.

Just slow cooking some travel on the back burner.

And hopefully.

In the back woods, the G.reat O.ut D.oors, sounds damn good.

And a coffee shop or three in Portland.

I could get behind that.

I like coffee

Just a little bit.

Heh.

 

 

 

Once Again

January 5, 2016

I felt like Charlie Brown with the football.

Hey, Lucy, sure, I see that ball, let me kick it and fall on my ass.

But.

At least this time I circumnavigated a little discomfort by making a phone call.

That’s right.

My readers for my next semester of classes are not ready.

Nothing says good times like making plans before you fall asleep at night to have them changed abruptly.

I rolled with it though.

I took care of what I needed to take care of for myself and I also had a little unexpected free time.

I did some extra writing.

That always helps.

I called some people and left some messages and just in the leaving of messages my brain chemistry changed.

When I share the crazy, the crazy, magically, is not so crazy, or at least I can hear it, deal with it and let it go.

Forgive myself and move on.

Sure.

I fell in a pothole, but I got myself out.

Then.

I actually had a nice phone call with my mom.

That lasted more than five minutes.

We must have chatted for twenty minutes and it was light, although some of the subject matter was not, and funny, and connected and it was nice.

I also quizzed my mom a bit on some family history.

One of my classes for this next semester, handily one of the classes that doesn’t have it’s reader ready yet, has something on the syllabus in regards to knowing about ones own family background.

I know zilch.

Well.

Maybe not zero.

But I don’t know much.

I have heard bits and pieces here and there, but nothing really outside the basic facts.

Which are: on my mom’s side I’m German and Scot and on my father’s side I’m Puerto Rican and Polynesian.

I mean I really don’t know much.

But I have always been curious.

I will be reaching out to one of my cousins on my fathers side, if my internet ever comes up, yeah, that’s right, another day where it’s not working.

I need to say something to my house mate, my utilities include a hefty chunk towards internet and it’s usually not that great, but four days in a row is not cool.

I have things I could be doing.

Reading the reader links for one of my classes that the professor put up since the reader is still not available.

Um.

Yeah.

I’ll be right on that.

When and if I can ever get the fuck online.

I am honestly not certain how the hell I was able to post a blog last night.

It was a complete Hail Mary and it went up.

But I wasn’t able to do anything else.

Like e-mail my cousin and ask after the ancestry information he has.

If I recall correctly, there was a conversation I had briefly with my cousin that someone in the family, him? Another cousin? An uncle? I cannot for the life of me remember, had done some research.

I am going to need that for this class.

I don’t know more about what I need since I can’t access the online syllabus.

Like I said, this whole not having internet is like cool for about a day, maybe two, yes, I did do a lot of pleasure reading, but enough already, I have things I need to do.

Damn it.

Ugh.

Anyway.

I did have a talk with my mom, who basically re-iterated to me the German and Scot thing on her side, with the possible Scot side maybe even coming from Iceland and the German side possibly have come from Switzerland?

Ok.

What I found fascinating, however, was the story from my father’s side of the family.

I knew that one of my ancestors had been taken from Puerto Rico to work on the plantations in Hawaii before it was a state of the United States.

What I did not know was that there were two of them, and they were brothers, and they were really young, twelve and fourteen.

She told me there names and that they had been taken to the island of Maui.

They were supposed to be given money to send back to their families in Puerto Rico.

Well.

You probably know how that went.

The brothers both married and one of the women, whom I am apparently biologically related to, was a, wait for it.

Witch.

Fuck yeah.

Which means.

She was probably a healer or a midwife or a doula or some sort of natural path.

Or a witch.

Ha.

My mom said, “healer” after letting the witch part slip.

I found myself fascinated by that and recalled a time in my life were I explored voodoo and witchcraft—Wicca as its traditionally known as, and I was also curious about a lot of other non-traditional spiritual practices.

Hell.

I still am.

According to mom, and by that I mean, second hand through my dad, who is probably not the most reliable source, the brother who married the witch divorced her and remarried.

I do know as well, that my grandmother was born in Paia, on Maui, in 1928.

I also found out that my father was born on Hawaii before it was naturalized as a state, so in some dystopian way, he doesn’t find himself to be a real American, he considers himself a “Hawaiian.”

Now.

I had heard that from him before, when, couldn’t tell you, my conversations with my pops were not always the most factual or honest and so much of the relationship was fantasy in my head anyhow.

My dad was not there after a certain point of my life.

And he’s remained not there.

And that’s ok.

I did my work around that.

I am still doing my work around that.

That sweet little girl, alone, cold, wet, abandoned.

Yeah.

I know her pretty well.

I try to scoop her up and dry her off and tuck her into bed with good stories and hot tea.

Most of the time, it works quite well.

Once in a while, she freaks out, but that is ok too.

Yes.

I am aware I have digressed to speaking not only of my inner four year old, but also in third person to.

I digress.

The conversation with mom was great and piqued a lot of curiosity.

Now.

If I can ever the fuck get online.

I’ll send my cousin and email and get so more stories.

I can always use more stories.

They are the stuff of life.

My life.

Anyway.

What?

December 21, 2014

It’s a Saturday night and I’m blogging.

Shouldn’t I be doing the boyfriend thing?

That is usually what is up if the post is not posted.

“When was the last time you blogged,” he asked me this afternoon.

“It’s been a few days, but I will be writing tonight,” I replied, and I knew I would.

Not necessarily because I have to, but because I want to.

I have become a little less stringent in my blog every day.

When I accepted the post a day challenge, from this very site, WordPress, back, oh I don’t know, five, six years ago, I was adamant.

ADAMANT.

That I would post everyday.

And I came really close to that.

I may have missed a post now and then.

I may have not had internet or I may have been out in deep playa at Burning Man; but for the most part, I was pretty on it.

The new relationship has changed that.

Not for the good or for the bad, it’s just a change.

And I like that I am allowing myself to be flexible.

To write when I need and want to write, for myself, about myself, and for no one but myself.

To forget the audience and just write what I need to write.

Oh yeah.

And my father woke up out of the coma.

With no filter.

“I need to scratch my balls,” I heard him say to the nurse, who was trying heartily to stifle his laughter and also to detangle the phone cord from around the many different tubes, cords, and monitors that he is hooked to.

He was really incoherent.

But odd things would get through to me, despite the crackle of a bad connection in Anchorage and the shoddy reception I was getting as I hopped in front of double bay window at work watching the rain sluice down the street.

The nurse explained that he had woken up and asked to speak to me and to my grandmother.

He, the nurse, also said that my dad was pretty groggy and out of it, but really had expressed the need to speak to me.

Despite denying that he had any recollection of me being there, I knew, that he knew that I had been there.

He didn’t know it was my birthday when we talked until I told him.

Then he told me that he was seventeen when he had me.

Not sure how that math works, he’s 65, and I’m 42, but hey, dad, glad to hear your voice, even in its querulous, the nurses are annoying me by not letting me scratch at myself (I tried to explain that he wasn’t and shouldn’t be allowed to scratch his head, since the skull flap was still open).

He also “cawed” at me like a crow.

Which I took as a great sign.

A weird sign, granted, but a sign that he was cognizant of somethings even if he was having a challenging time saying what was on his mind.

I had left a card with the nurses, one that I had gotten at the gift shop at the museum, it had an etching of a raven on it with the tribal reflection in the snow of the animal’s shadow.

I took the cawing to mean that my father had gotten the card and that he had either read it or had it read to him.

I found tears springing to my eyes.

I wiped them away.

I had to be going soon, the boys were running rampant, my boyfriend was going to be taking me to dinner and I needed to leave and get on my bicycle and get home and shower and be ready at 7:15p.m. to go to my surprise dinner.

The surprise, being, that my dad had woken up.

I rode my bicycle home is a semi-state of shock.

My phone battery dying.

Wondering who I should call, who did I want to call, did I have the energy to engage with any of it.

I just wanted to have my birthday and my boyfriend and not be apart of the drama anymore.

Showing up and answering phone calls and talking to relatives and family that I have not had much interaction with since I was young girl was draining.

So too seeing the state my father was in and what the twelve years intervening had done to his body and spirit.

He’s a tough old guy and what is it “they” say?

God protects children and drunks?

I think that covers it.

I told my sister, well, I texted her, that was as much juice as my phone had and when I was trying to get it together to do the next right thing in front of me, I just plugged it in and declared that the rest of the night was going to be my birthday and that I would call, connect with, and contact all relatives, family, friends, and anyone else who needed to know the status of the father up in the Anchorage hospital bed.

I took a shower.

I put on a pretty dress.

I put on too much makeup and felt like a tart and didn’t really care.

I went to a fat dinner with my baby.

He too me to Bobo’s.

It was smashing.

I had surf and turf.

Blue black filet with 1/3 of a Dungeness crab.

The crab is in season and wowzers, it might have been the sweetest, most delectable crab I have ever had.

We also split a wedge salad with pancetta and Point Reyes Blue Cheese, a side of brussels sprouts, with more pancetta, and a side of garlic Portobello mushrooms.

It was divine.

I was replete.

It took me a little while to settle down.

To get into the spirit.

It has been a ride.

It really has.

When I reflect that this time last Saturday I was sitting in an ICU room with my father’s hand in mine, not knowing what the next day would bring, wanting to be done with the grief and sorrow and knowing that there was more walking through the dark hallway to go, I had no idea that one week later I would be sharing about the experience in a Starbucks up in Noe Valley and recounting the gratitude I had for the experience.

Life is intense and fast sometimes and you blink and the next page has been turned, I don’t know what this next chapter holds for myself of my family, suffice to say I think I will be staying in touch more with then I have in the past.

I really don’t know where this next year is going, but I know that I am in the right place, with the right man, the right job, and the right fellowship around me.

I am blessed and alive and know it.

Even when I walk through the darkest hallways, I know that there is a light and a way out.

It just won’t look at all like I think it should.

But that is good.

It always looks better.

The outcome always.

Always.

So much greater than my best laid plans.

Thank You For Wearing Flowers In Your Hair

January 16, 2014

She said to me this evening as I was leaving the neighborhood to hit Irving Street and play defensive bicyclist trying not to die so you can find a parking spot.

“They really suit you, I can’t get away with it,” she concluded.

“Thank you,” I said and smiled.

It is San Francisco.

Here, as the song goes, of all places, I am allowed to wear flowers in my hair.

Even hot pink roses with glitter on them.

What it felt like I was being complimented on was being myself.

Whenever someone comments on a colorful outfit or a bright pattern, or an interesting hair do, flowers, sequins, feathers, anyone?

I always feel that I am being told, thank you for being you.

That by allowing myself the freedom to express my personality, I give permission to others to do so as well.

I could be reading too much into that, but that is what it feels like and I am more than happy to oblige.

I like this me.

“She gets more and more glamorous!” My grandmother told my mother recently.

My grandmother on my father’s side who is a Facebook friend.

My mother and she re-united recently, first through the post then over the phone.  That was news I wasn’t expecting.  It was also some news of my father whom I have not heard from in sometime, news that he is still up in Alaska and well, still alive.

Sometimes I feel that I won’t get to see him again, but in the wake of all the family reconnecting I have gotten to have I won’t make any sort of assumption.

There was a time that I never thought I would see my mom or my sister again, so who knows what may happen with my dad.

I would love to see him.

Even if just to hug him and say, hey, I love you, you did the best you could, and I am pretty awesome.

Just check out all the geegaws in my hair.

Ha.

Individuality, despite my wanting to fit in and be accepted by my peers, is a huge thing for me.  I like to be different, to try, to stretch, to be fabulous.

Then, I think, ha, part of my peer group is the Burning Man community, I fit right in just fine.  Fact, most the time I am not the most crazily dressed, but I do take care to express myself and I like pretty.

I do.

I like girly.

Who knew?

I could keep writing about this and if I’m not careful I will be pulling out my crinoline to rock around the park tomorrow with my little girl Thursday.

Which, when I think on it for a minute would be awesome.

She has a black tulle crinoline with little black sequins on the edges.

I could wear my white one and we can play dress up.

Or.

Heh.

I could wear my bibs, which is what I think I am going to wear, especially since she has a pair and we can play twins that way.

If my career as a nanny doesn’t take off I can always be a child stylist.

Bahahahahaha.

Actually, I bet that is someone’s job.

I mean think of all the commercials out there with children in them, I bet there are folks that do just that, style kids.

Hmmm.

Well, for the moment, I am not looking for work, having accepting the nanny career in an unstinting manner.

“How old are they?” She asked me at the park as one crawled over the other and zipped down the slide.

“He’s twenty-two and a half months, and he’s eleven and a half months,” I said pointing out each of the boys.

“Oh my, did that hurt?” The woman asked looking quite alarmed.

“Huh?” I said, then realizing what she meant I laughed, “oh no, they’re not mine, I am their nanny.  I do a nanny share with the boys.”

The boys.

Oh, such lovers, such pumpkins, such non-nappers.

Ugh.

I couldn’t be upset though, the snuggles, the hugs, the kisses, I missed my little guys when I was down in Florida.

And should you have seen me showing off the photographs of the two of them and the little girl I care for as well; you would have thought I was the grandparent at the retirement village.

It was a great day with the boys and I loved being out in the weather.

I know we need the rain, but man, I couldn’t get enough of that warm sunshine on my face.  In fact, there was a cold front moving into Florida when I left and it was warmer here than it was in Orlando today.

That is saying something.

I got the sweetest message from my mom and I thought again how glad I was to have made the trip.  Glad as well to know that I have a few things I want to send back to my family, things that you can only get in San Francisco.

Coffee for my mom from Philz.

It turns out the last time she was here and I took her to Philz that it was the best cup of coffee she had ever had.

I had not known that, so I asked if she would like some Philz coffee sent to her and she would.  So, I will send a little care package to her.  In fact, I will do that this Friday.

I am going to be in the Castro nannying in the afternoon and there’s a Philz nearby.  I will grab her a pound and send it off.

There are a few other little things I want to send my sister and her family too.

Nice to know that I don’t have to wait for Christmas to send love.

I can just do it because it feels nice to give things.

Whether it is the freedom to express yourself or express your love.

It’s all a great big gift.

Thank you for acknowledging my flowers, it makes me happy to make you happy.

And who doesn’t like pink satin and glitter anyways?


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