Posts Tagged ‘field work’

She Keeps Us Civilized

January 22, 2016

The mom said to her guests as they thanked me at the end of my shift this evening.

Well.

I try.

Sometimes though, the five year old is just going to stand on his head and fart on his friend and giggle wildly.

Fortunately the parents were outside in the back yard enjoying daiquiris.

I was inside with four boys: 5 3/4; 51/2; 4; and 3 1/2.

I add the halves and the quarters.

They are very fierce about their age and the hierarchy of who sits where in accordance to what age.

They were lined up left to right, oldest to youngest, along with two stuffed huskies, one stuffed cat, and one very, very loved teddy bear.

Four cups of milk in sippy cups and four graham crackers.

And.

Pengu.

Man.

There is nothing funnier to this age group than Pengu.

Nothing.

There is just something about the claymation little penguin that tickles the funny bone.

I find it endearing and cute and about the only video I can stand watching with the boys.

It’s a special night when the boys get videos, when I’m there we don’t watch videos.

I have been told by the boys that they do watch a lot of videos 0n the weekend.

I know they do and that’s not my business.

I am in no position to criticize or judge any one and their parental style.

I have in the past and it did not serve me well.

Glass houses and stones and what all.

The boys had a play date and I made pizzas.

I had to laugh at one point.

I don’t eat sugar or flour and here I am rolling out pizza dough–spinach and mushroom, pepperoni, plain cheese, and cheese and mushroom–and navigating around open containers of sugar and booze.

Not my normal.

Even at work.

But no matter.

I did my deal and took care of the boys and was grateful for my own lovely little abstinent meal and my extra time to get done laundry and pick up all the different sets of train tracks that had gotten pulled out to entertain the boys.

Three separate sets.

I pondered my psychology reading and was happy to use some theory on the boys.

I mean.

Come on.

I’m in the heart of family.

And I’m going to be a therapist.

Gold mine.

It’s like doing field work all the time.

I mean I got an A+ in Psychodynamics using a scene at the dentist office where one of the boys had a temper tantrum and I was able to apply Freud and Melanie Klein theory to what was happening.

I am a very lucky girl.

I am also a very lucky girl to have done some work today before work.

That’s the funny thing about work.

I work before it and I work after it.

Sometimes the work I do outside of work is more work.

But I digress.

I did some reading.

I checked over a couple of my syllabi.

Specifically I read the entire seven pages for Applied Spirituality.

,

I was resentful, wildly so, the first time I read it.

Hey, don’t you know who I am?

Don’t you know what I do?

I am special.

I already apply spirituality to my life.

Don’t tell me what to do.

Which.

When I took some time to reflect.

Was a rather unspiritual stance to take.

After doing some inventory on it and discussing it with another person at length I realized that I was, once again, being inflexible about my schedule.

I have a certain way of doing things and a certain time and don’t bother me while I am.

And.

Don’t even try to get me to do anything else.

It’s a matter of life and death.

Motherfucker.

Ah.

Yeah.

So, you can see, not so spiritual at that.

I recognize the fear behind the thoughts, I’ve been doing it this way for years, and I’m doing just fine, and I’m going to hold onto this way of doing things and you can pry my practice from my cold, dead, but still fucking spiritual, hands.

I laugh at myself.

I had a small epiphany–the poetry epiphany–and decided to not change up my practice so much, as deepen it.

I’ll grab some new spiritual readers, I will change out my daily readers, I’m still going to use conference approved literature, there is a really good reason I stick close to the original message of recovery.

It works.

But there’s more than one daily reader, so I will try another.

And I went for it this morning.

I wrote a full sonnet after writing my regular morning pages and doing my gratitude list.

I’m using a notebook that I bought at the museum store at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

I’m calling the series.

“Love Letters To God.”

I debated posting the first sonnet here, but I am not sure how I am going to incorporate them yet for the class, and since that is the reason, the impetus to do the writing, I’m going to wait until after my professor gets back to me regarding my proposal.

That may not be for at least a week.

I got word today that my professor was under the impression that classes started this upcoming weekend, he has not officially posted the syllabus and sent out an apologetic e-mail this afternoon giving some suggestions and saying basically, just wait for a week and I’ll be ready for you.

I find this extraordinarily unprofessional considering this is a graduate school program and I am paying graduate school tuition out the fucking ass.

But this is not the first time that something wonky has occurred–readers not ready, etc.

And frankly, I don’t bear a grudge.

It’s just humanity happening in front of my eyes.

I can get fussy about it or I can be grateful for an extra week reprieve from the start of another round of grad school work.

It will all work out.

And.

I have no complaints.

I mean.

I wrote a delicious sonnet.

It made me happy to write.

Happier to read.

The next thing to explore is to see if I can link a sound byte to my blog or if I should do some sort of podcast on Youtube.

Which I know nothing about, but I do feel quite compelled to have some voice recordings out there.

It feels like the next thing to do in this evolution of being an artist.

Yup.

Me the artist.

How lovely that is to claim.

I am a poet.

I am a writer.

I am an artist.

Hell yeah.

Bring on the spirituality.

Bitches.

Advertisements

Carmen, You Are A

February 25, 2015

Rockstar.

Why thank you.

It did take some rock star maneuvering to get through today, but I made it through.

The mom paid me the compliment.

The grandmother told me I was amazing.

The almost, in three days, five-year old told me he loved me.

The dog kissed my face.

The two and a half-year old had his Meow Meow hug me, his little white cat that is now grey from dirt and love.

Validation.

So nice to meet you.

It is lovely to be so appreciated at work and it’s nice to be busy.

Not too busy, I could use a little more down time then this week has afforded me, but the grandparents leave tomorrow and I have a half day on Thursday, so I can interview for the graduate school program, and things will roll right along.

The upside to being busy is that I don’t have time to be bored.

I am almost always doing something.

“Can I help?”  The grandmother asked as I started unpacking the bags from the market and getting the things for dinner arranged.

“No, but thank you,” I said.

Not because I probably couldn’t use the help, but because it actually, often times ends up being a hinderance to the preparation.

I don’t think in a linear manner.

I try, but often get distracted, and often find short cuts, and often have fifteen things happening at one time.

In the span of an hour and a half I prepped snacks for pre-school pick up for the oldest boy–thermos of milk, strawberries, hulled and sliced, clementines, peeled and sectioned, two small Fuji apples, cored, sliced, sprinkled with cinnamon, box of whole wheat crackers in a little container.

The kid likes having options.

Then I roasted cauliflower for dinner, made a marinade for salmon I had bought at BiRite (two pounds wild Alaskan salmon marinated in olive oil, Meyer lemon juice and zest, one lime, sea salt, fresh chopped flat head parsley, garlic, fresh pepper, thyme, and a little basil), big tossed salad for the whole family, and sushi rice in the rice cooker.

I did a lot of other things too, laundry, clean up, dishes, but I don’t think of it anymore, I just do it.

I just had my five month anniversary with the family and I would say it’s going well.

The almost five-year old celebrated his birthday tonight with his grandparents who fly out tomorrow afternoon.

I was grateful to not have to be a party to bed time.

It was hard enough wrangling the two monkeys after a couple of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes from Mission Mini’s.

It was like a sugar bomb went off in both their brains.

As I stood in the middle of it, watching the dynamic of the family I thought how lucky I was for my job.

And for the experience it’s providing me.

“You are so far ahead of anyone coming into the program,” a friend told me Saturday night, “leaps and bounds, you’ll do fine at the interview and they will take you into the program.”

It’s nice to hear.

Again, validation, affirmation, I am good, I do a good job.

But it was better to have it sink in, from my head to my heart, down to my gut.

I know she’s right.

I have had eight years being at the center of many a family.

I have done my field research to be a MFT, Marriage and Family Therapist.

In spades.

I have seen family’s that blew me away with their love and others that blew me away with their neurosis.

All of them have been instrumental in my own personal growth.

Learning how to communicate without being passive aggressive or manipulative.

When a kid whines, it’s hard to tolerate and there’s a wheedling aggressive manipulation happening.

If I make you uncomfortable, you will fold and I will get what I want.

I can’t handle it much better in adults.

It’s subtler, but really it boils down to the same thing.

And those families I haven’t stayed employed with long.

I have learned about self-care, how to prepare myself for the job and stay serene in my own persona and core.

I have learned to meditate at work, in the middle of the day when there’s a nap time happening.

I don’t always get to, but when I am, the magic is palpable.

I see what happens when families eat junk versus good food.

Or when miscommunication happens or feelings get hurt.

I see that we are all, all of us, me especially, human and I make mistakes.

I see also that I get to make mistakes and that’s part of learning.

“No!  I want you to draw it,” the oldest boy told me, “I can’t do it as well.”

“You will one day, and not so far off,” I replied.  “Just try, you don’t have to be perfect, it takes patience and practice and repetition, you have to start somewhere, here’s a great place.”

He picked up the crayon and drew outside the lines, smashing bright colors all over the page, “it’s my favorite color!”

Yellow.

Or gold.

“Just try, you are safe, I won’t drop you,” I told the youngest boy yesterday at swim lessons.

“I’m scared, I’m afraid,” he said.

“I have you, I won’t drop you, you are safe, and you can be afraid, fear is ok, but you still get to try, come on, you can do it, jump!” I smiled and lifted him up into the air and the splashed down into the water.

“See!” I hugged him and his wet arms wrapped around me and he smiled back wet eyed and beautiful.

I’m going to nail that interview.

I’m going to graduate school.

This is happening.

Never thought being a nanny would lead me anywhere, it was just something to do until the right thing came along.

Who knew it was the thing that would provide me with the foundation to do that right thing when the time came.

Life.

Full of wonderful surprises.

And sweet validation.

Thank you!

The grandma and grandpa said for the photos.

Thank you, you are a super hero, the dad said.

Thank you! The mom called out to me as I walked out the door.

You are very welcome.

See you tomorrow.

I have some more research to do.


%d bloggers like this: