Posts Tagged ‘Family swim’

So Close

April 16, 2015

I can taste it.

The weekend.

Yeah, I know, tomorrow is Thursday.

But, yes, there is a Santa Claus, Virginia, I have Friday off.

If I can make it.

The week has been busy.

Family swim today again today.

At least I remembered and did not wear eyeliner, just the water proof mascara and a big smile.

I also bumped into a little talkative bean that has grown up so much in the last six and a half months, seven months, since I last saw him.

One of my former charges was there with his mom swimming and it was so good to see him and he was so sweet and talkative, he had words before, but it was like a word explosion had gone off and he was carrying on complex conversations.

He swam right up to me and I was so happily surprised to see him, it was hard to keep my attention on my current charges.

It just made my day to see him and give him some kisses and see what a beautiful little guy he is becoming.

And I took things a little easier today than the last swim day.

I knew what to expect, where we were going, to pack extra this, extra that and be ready also for a side trip to Crissy Field and a quick dig in the sand before hitting the swimming pool.

I also suspected that the problem, aside from the littlest guy’s napping being edged forward with the swimming, was the hungry.

You do not want to mess with a two-year old when they need food.

It is like unleashing a manic animal.

Which is what two and 3/4 year old boys are anyway, little animals.

With some words, most of which start with now, I want, and more.

I plied him with lots of snacks while at the beach and even though he was a little cranky after getting out of the pool, we made it home without a melt down.

The melt down did happen.

But it happened just him and I in his room while I was getting him into a diaper for nap.

And then it melted away and we snuggled, he had a spot of milk, we read a story, his eyelids so heavy I was amazed he could stay up to hear the fate of the little owl, who was also, conveniently enough, was also falling asleep.

He napped for two hours.

He could have gone longer, but it was 4 o’clock at the point that I woke him up and I knew the parents just couldn’t have the nap go longer, especially since they are heading out-of-town for a short Spring Break vacation.

Which is why I have Friday off.

I deserve Friday off.

The work has been full to overfull having the two boys at all times.

They are high energy.

“They are just full of beans today,” I laughed.

“I don’t know where they are getting the energy, they are just going and going,” the mom said, she looked like she could use a nap, it’s a long day for everyone when we do swimming.

Tomorrow I won’t have the family the whole day, they will be taking off before my day ends.

They will leave and I will stay back and organize and work on a few projects while they are hitting the road.

I was not the happiest upon hearing that projects were expected to get done, I also didn’t know the family was leaving tomorrow, I thought they were going on Friday morning.

Regardless.

What ever needs to be done will get done and I will have the second half of the day on my own in the house, I can listen to music, do what needs to be done, take my time and be of service to my family.

It’s a gift to get a paid day off, especially one in which I am not required to take a day off of my own vacation or sick leave.

It’s a free paid day, Friday.

And as it turns out.

It’s perfect timing.

I had some plans.

I was going to get my scooter towed out to Scooter Center and finally deal with it.

But my scooter can wait.

I got a text from a dear friend of mine and it looks like she’s going to be delivering within the next two days.

She might have her baby tomorrow.

I’ll be heading into see her on Friday and her new baby boy.

I can’t wait, I remember when she told me she was pregnant.

It’s amazing to see my friends having babies.

“I don’t know that I will have children,” I told him last night as we were catching up and talking about experiences and relationships, “but I haven’t missed out on having children in my life.”

I have gotten to experience so much from the vantage of being a nanny and getting to engage with babies and toddlers and pre-schoolers and kindergartener’s, and I think that will continue.

I don’t have to have a baby, I’ve gotten to have many of them.

And I get to meet another one on Friday.

Such a gift.

Life.

Yeah.

So, my scooter can wait.

I don’t know how long I’ll be with my friend and her husband and their new baby, I’m just going to leave the day to that and my commitment later in the evening at 8p.m at Our Lady of Safeway.

One more day of work.

One more day of Spring Break.

And I will be having my own little break.

I’m ready.

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Hello Monday

April 14, 2015

Let’s be friends.

I wrote that this morning as I was sitting and thinking about what my day would look like, how it would go, where I would go, what I would do, and then further, how I was going to be.

Happy.

That was my choice.

Happy is a choice.

Sometimes happy happens all on its own and that is lovely and surprising and I am always grateful for it.

Then there are other times, Monday’s, when I have to put myself in that mode and get happy.

I put my hair in pony tails.

I wore some electric blue and some purple.

I stuck a couple of big purple and teal flowers in my hair.

And I did my make up to match–shimmery purple glitter on the whole lid complimented with some teal eyeliner set off by a black winged cats eye and two layers of black water proof mascara.

Waterproofing.

I should have known.

I think I was subconsciously telling myself, but i didn’t hear it.

I was busy getting happy and doing my writing in my pink glitter notebook and thinking I should make a run on Flax and pick up a notebook and that I needed some new stickers, I’m almost out and what could I do to guarantee I would continue bright and upbeat and not let Monday have its way with me.

“Swimming, swimming, we’re going swimming,” the mom was singing to the boys when I walked in this morning.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I whispered under my breath.

Of course.

It was a family swim day.

Spring Break you’re going to kill me.

But, I put myself in the happy place, breathe and pray, and got into it.

“Carmen? Carmen! Carmen!”  The oldest came hustling down the stairs and ran into the kitchen where I was putting together stacks of snacks for the trip to the pool and back.

Swimming makes for hungry little boys.

“You’re here!” He hugged me, “it’s so good to see you, I missed you!”

I missed you too, my sweet guy.

I picked him up and gave him a big squeeze.

“Sometimes you hug so hard I think it’s going to hurt,” he told me, “but it never does.”

I felt a small hand reach inside my heart and squeeze it.

These kids get me.

I have thought before when transitioning to a new family from another that I wouldn’t love the kids as much or there would be differences and I wouldn’t be accepted or, whatever it was, that there wasn’t enough love in me to go out to another child.

And yet.

There always is.

There are times when I have a moment with the little guy and he’s my favorite and the best and wouldn’t trade him in for millions.

Then the oldest does something like hug me and kiss my face and ask me to sit by him and write out “a very secret story that only you and I share,” and he snuggles into me while dictating the words to the secret story, so secret that I can’t even look, and then, yes, he is my favorite.

The best.

The most awesome.

Then I see my little Junebug and Charlie Reno squished up on the top bunk of Charlie’s bed–my screen saver on my phone, Junie’s eyes wide, saucer like, glowing like love lamps and my heart squishes and she is it, oh goodness, so much it breaks me in half and then in half and in half again, times infinity and beyond.

“My favorite number is 20 hundred plus infinity,” the older one informed me out of the blue.

Yeah.

Like that.

Love it doesn’t wear out or go away or get smaller, it just grows, and like a flower forever blooming it only grows sweeter and better even when the person is not close to me or gone another way.

I have this note that a dear friend, who is currently not talking to me, but that’s another story, wrote me this past year about how much I inspire him and that I will never understand how much and that I have loved him more than he deserves and that for that he will always love me more than I will know.

And another note, on two yellow stickies about me on my playa bike and how she thinks of me with love, and it accompanied a necklace sent from my best friend in Wisconsin.

Then there’s the photograph of me and my darling girl friend, who takes a lot of random ass, I’m freaking out, need to talk me down from the ledge moments, of her and I doing the tourist photograph from Alcatraz.

I have postcards and note cards and “love letters” all over my fridge.

I have the most amazing print from a friend who signs it “Love you Carmen.”

And I know she does.

And I love her.

Love.

It’s so nice.

And it’s a good thing to remember when the two and 3/4 year old boy, half-naked, then completely naked, launches into the longest temper tantrum I have ever experienced.

Second only in severity to the one he threw in the bathroom at Mission Playground.

This one happened at La Petite Bailene, in the locker room, that space that is the echo chamber to end all echo chambers, a locker room.

The screams.

It was horror.

He lost it.

Lost it.

Lost it.

The tantrum was prefaced by him not wanting to get out of the pool, which is so amazing, a few weeks ago he was adamantly against the pool and I remember telling the mom that it would change, patience and practice and gentle repetition and before you know it, he will love the pool.

He loves it so much that when the family swim was over, and my eye makeup had been dashed and sprayed and doused in water and he was swimming with nanny the raccoon, he wouldn’t get out.

And he didn’t have a choice.

Open swim was over.

Try telling that to a stubborn child who has his heart set on swimming and all the wonder of it.

Poor baby.

The mom and I managed, the older brother managed, the snickering of the German mom changing her small children out of their co-ordinated racer back swimsuits in the corner, I could have done without, but you know, what ever, tantrums happen and one day you’ll get yours lady.

The mom got him out of his swim suit and wet trunks, but getting him into clothes was impossible.

Executive decision time, out to the car naked, but he pulled the one trick out of the bag to get back into the swimming pool facility.

He stopped wailing and in the calmest voice ever, said, “I have to pee.”

Oh good gravy.

Kid.

You are killing me.

I looked at the mom, “I’ll do it, give me his clothes,” I ran him back inside, got him in a stall, he tried to escape, I knew he wanted back to the pool and the tantrum exploded again.

Mad little naked monkey.

I did eventually get him changed and dressed and out the door and into the car seat and back home and he napped and then the world became a much quieter place, but for a moment, I had the Monday blues.

Oh yes I did.

Then the day ended and he sat in my lap and snuggled and said, “please, oh please, eat your food,” he likes my beans and rice dishes.

He curled up with his stuffed cat in my chair and ate beans and rice and I fed his brother and we did bath time and it was all good.

Love.

It doesn’t go away when things get hard or screaming happens, all the emotions, all the big feels, they are just a part of the journey.

And even though Monday was not quite as happy as I had planned it to be.

It was still full and wonderful even when it was tough and heartrending.

That might be the best definition for love I have.

And I can always use a little more.

Or a lot more.

Like.

20 hundred plus infinity.

I Made It!

April 11, 2015

At one point, as I looked out over the bay, Alcatraz sitting like a rough hewn jewel in the blue waters of the bay, I thought, how am I going to get through this day?

So much stuff.

It was jam-packed.

And yeah, of course I remembered we were going swimming today and did I have my swimsuit.

Oh fuck.

I actually thought that swimming was going to be earlier this week, open family swim at La Petite Bailene in the Presidio.

No.

Swimming was for today.

Ack.

I mean, yay!

Let’s go!

Of course it was the day I was wearing kohl eyeliner.

I never wear kohl eyeliner.

Ok.

I obviously did today, but 28 out of 30 days in the month, I’m not wearing kohl.

Yes.

I do wear eyeliner, I can hear some of my close girl friends ahem’ing as they read this, I wear the make up folks, that is part of the Auntie Bubba package.

There’s going to be make up.

There’s going to be glitter.

There’s going to be tattoos and funky hair.

I’m going into my colorist in two weeks.

Can you say excited?

I am.

Last time I went in and got colored up it was shades of violet and purple with some deep indigo and hot pink.

Not that this time.

Although, to tell the truth I have been flirting with a number of different ideas.

I’ll probably get some blonde highlights.

I know, how pedestrian of me.

I’m loving the wild, long, curly, California beachy hair mess I have going on.

Most of the time.

I knew it was going to be a pain in the ass today when in attempting to secure all the things to go to the pool–bag of snacks/lunch (sunflower butter sandwiches with marmalade, strawberries, bananas, string cheese, apricots, Joe’s O’s, mandarin’s), bag of towels, swim diaper, swim trunks, epi pens (peanut allergies for one of the boys means always have epi pens, Croc’s, extra pants (potty training is happening), socks, diaper pad in case potty training is epic fail, sunblock (because before we get to the pool we’re going to run around on the beach at Crissy Field), hats, sweat shirts (because it’s San Francisco and you never know), I realized I didn’t have a hair tie for my hair.

Great.

Kohl eyeliner and no hair elastic.

I am screwed.

But at least I have my swim suit.

I borrowed a hair tie from the mom and peeled out of my leggings.

“You’re wearing Meow Meow pants!” The little guy said this morning and took his stuffed cat and kissed me with it (I wore my leopard print leggings into work).

I do love this bug, he is just the bomb.

Except when he is tired or hungry, then watch out.

Things will fly.

Stuffed cats being the least likely to cause injury.

I’m not entirely sure what he did to me today in the pool, but I got walloped at one point and I have a tender pinky finger, it’s got a bruise from some sort of little boy rambunctiousness.

Before I have even been at work twenty minutes I have secured the swim package and the snacks and threw a cup of reheated coffee down my gullet and I’m gearing up to get in the pool and smudge the make up and yeah, let’s do family swim.

And play at the beach.

Shit.

Wasn’t expecting that one, but ok, I can roll with it.

And oh, there’s a play date at three p.m. in Dolores Park too.

Ack.

I got uptight in my body and I could feel myself slipping out of the moment, the serene blue of the water, the sky, the sun, the tops of the trees feathering out like umbrella pines in Italy cascading through the hills winding down the road in the Presidio.

I breathed.

I’ll get through it one moment at a time.

It was a lot.

It was too much.

Mom agreed.

We got through it.

And decided no more play dates on days where there is swimming.

There’s a lot of activities happening right now.

Spring Break.

Not for me.

That’s for sure.

I just rubbed my face and smelled chlorine.

Ah.

I love the smell of chlorine.

Swimming saved my life when I was in high school and I always have such a fondness for being in a pool.

There will be plenty of opportunity for me to be in the pool next week, family swim is planned for at least two of the days and there’s talk of exploring the Mission Bay UCSF Campus.  The family may get a membership there.

Please oh please.

I love that pool.

The outdoor pool can be a little chilly sometimes, but the facility is great, and they have an indoor pool too.

I miss swimming laps.

The mom mentioned being happy she skipped the gym today, she decided last-minute that there was too much happening.

I nodded in agreement.

“You probably don’t approve of the gym, do you, you aren’t really a gym person are you?” She asked as we crested over the hills and toward the Marina.

“Uh, no, I would go to the gym,” I said, without much thought behind it, “it’s just not a luxury I can afford,” I finished.

I wasn’t thinking much and continued, “I mean, rent is two paychecks out of the month, I can’t really spare a membership at a gym, I’d go in a heart beat, though, take a yoga class, go…”

I stopped.

“San Francisco is so expensive to live in,” the mom glossed over the awkward pause and we continued forward.

I wasn’t telling my employer I don’t make enough, but I think it came out sounding that way.

And in some ways, I do make less than I was making before, I was working all under the table though and not declaring anything.

I didn’t have insurance, I was working for three different families, and though they were all generous in different ways, I didn’t have benefits.

I do at this job.

“I know today was a lot,” the mom said as we sat watching the boys on their play date in Dolores Park, “I just want you to know how much I appreciate all the things you did today and dinner is being delivered to the house, Tacolicious, we got you a Marina Girl salad with chicken.”

Thanks mom.

I am taken care of and I do have exactly what I need.

And I made it through the day.

One chlorine scented moment at a time.

And now it’s the weekend.

Yes.


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