Posts Tagged ‘Koret Children’s Playground’

And Back To Our Regular Programming

July 16, 2014

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Sack o’ Peas!

Frozen sack of peas, mind you, but a bag of peas none the less.

You know it’s been a day when you are actively fantasizing about getting home to put the leg up in the air and throw down some frozen vegetables on it.

Not sure what was up but it was a sore one today.

I went slow.

I swear I did.

I took the boys to the Golden Gate Community Gardens and we just wandered around the boxes looking at the plants and literally stopping to smell the roses.

We saw, in no particular order, giant Fava beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas, Echinacea, chamomile blooms, dill, rosemary, mint, teeny tiny cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash blossoms, lavender, red lettuce, curly-headed lettuce, golden chard, regular chard, red chard, broccoli just beginning to bloom, radishes, gigantic leeks, strawberries, kale, lot of kale actually, every plot seemed to have some.

There were also wild flowers and nasturtiums, and Queen Anne’s Lace, and geraniums, petunia’s, violet, wood violets and African violets, lots of roses, and last but not least, especially in the boys minds, pinwheels.

They had a merry old-time just blowing pinwheels.

It was the perfect kind of morning to meander through the gardens.

They just recently opened and there was only a solo worker there who waved us right in when I asked if we could walk through and enjoy the plants.

I rather wanted to pick some of the plants, one strawberry plot was so rich and heavily laden with berries it seemed wrong to not pluck any off the plants, but I discouraged the boys, and myself, from touching anything with our hands.

Instead we practiced, “touching with our eyes,” and though I will admit I did take a little tiny leaf of mint from a peppermint bush, we left without disturbing any of the plants.

It was a sweet, serene, walk to the park, the evergreens along Kezar stadium flagrant with fragrance, my eldest boy scooped up fistfuls of evergreen needles and pine cones as we strolled, and then we came over to the Kezar Triangle park that was newly renovated a few months back and the entire thing was empty.

I fed the boys snacks on the bench carved out of a gigantic piece of redwood and then let them run amok in the grass while I hobbled behind.

The fields were fragrant and still damp from the morning dew, the fresh-cut grass sticking to all of our shoes, but the smell.

Oh so good.

And I don’t know what plant or pairing of plants that were planted in the border gardens but it smelled heavenly, like thick just harvested honeycomb in the sun rich and sweet.

I could taste it on my tongue and I just wanted to sit there all day.

San Francisco is a lush, sweet, intoxicating smelling place (not always because people are walking around openly smoking pot either), jasmine and sweet grass, honeysuckle, buckets of lavender growing in so many yards and porches and stoops.

The Charles Grimaldi trees, the little trees that have the gigantic golden bell blooms that look like faerie hats, all the citrus trees–lime, Meyer lemon, oranges, tangerines, then the plum trees–that for many years I mistook for cherry trees-and the Eucalyptus (which though not a native species is still such a fragrant and deeply intoxicating smell to me that I never fail to indulge with deep breath when I am in the Pan Handle Park and the leaves are dropping from the trees in showers of scent) proliferating in the parks.

It was a good smells kind of day.

I always think that good smells presage good fortune.

Today I felt fortunate.

To have a good job with little boys who I love and I can say pretty truthfully, love me.

Same goes for my little girl Thursday who we ran into yesterday at the carousel in the Koret Children’s Playground in Golden Gate Park, such a peach, I love hearing her say my name.

I love whenever they get to that point.

The littlest monkey doesn’t have my name down yet, but I get the love, the snuggles, the laughter, the silly faces and the goofy boy antics that crack me up.

He has recently taken to walking around with his eyes squinched shut until he bumps into something.

It is the goofiest little game.  It’s rather as though he’s time travelling or something.

He walks in a relatively straight line, for an 18 month old boy who just recently mastered walk (God, I remember when I was swaddling him for naps and he couldn’t crawl yet!), hands slightly out in front, eyes shut, until he can’t help but open his eyes to see what amazing surprise awaits him.

He usually gasps in glee.

It’s quite a sight.

Poor thing bonked into a door though, an hour before pick up, smack, with his head.

It was almost like watching a stand up comedian slapstick hit himself, except, he really did bonk his head a good one.

I tried to not laugh, but a giggle might have escaped me.

On our way back from the park I swung into American Cyclery to talk with Tyson about my playa cruiser and where we stand with it.

He’s had it for a while, but knowing that I was going to Burning Man, and knowing when Burning Man is (oh my god I leave in a month–leaving San Francisco the morning of August 15th, a Friday to Reno, overnight in Reno, then landing on playa early to mid afternoon on the 16th, eep!) he’s not gotten about to it.

And he wasn’t in the shop, having taken his first vacation in 3 years.

But the guy at the register assured me my bike was safe and Tyson was on it.

Although he admitted he didn’t think he’d touched it much since I had dropped it off.

Tyson will be back next week and I will use that as an excuse to walk over to Kezar and smell the grand smells of this beautiful city I am blessed to get to live in.

Today felt really good for that.

Grace.

Love.

Gratitude.

Being taken care of.

Despite myself.

Getting to be a conduit for the good stuff.

All the things.

She told me.

You deserve all the things.

Especially if they smell good.

Tired and Teary

July 8, 2014

My descriptor to my boss today when she asked me how it all went.

Like beyond tired and teary.

And yes.

I cried in front of the boss lady.

Ack.

But it was true.

“You look exhausted,” my friend said to me tonight with some concern in his voice, “go home, eat something, get into bed and sleep.”

I will.

After I finish my blog.

I am a masochist like that.

I like writing my blog though, it feels good to process through what happened on the day and really, it wasn’t that bad, it was just long and it was my first day back, and I know it will get better.

Tomorrow I will also not go as far a field.

I took the boys in the morning to Golden Gate park.

It was too far.

Which I did not realize until I was trying to get back from the park and I just got slower and slower and slower and it seemed interminable, I was never going to make it back.

I also had stopped to pick up some groceries at Whole Foods for the family.

What I am seeing, in hindsight, is that I should have just gone grocery shopping, then kept the boys at the house the entire day.

However, there is major construction underway and I wanted to be out of the noise and dust for as long as I possibly could.

I was up and on my feet much more than I have been in weeks and I just got punked out.

It was great to have the boys, though, the smiles and hugs and kisses and the mom’s were so pleased to get my photos.  I got the impression that the nanny they were using interim was not the same as me and that’s a nice thing to know.

To be wanted and acknowledged.

I was also updated on my imminent Burning Man job.

My boss went ahead and put me on her team officially.

My title?

“Not Your Nanny”.

My playa name on my laminate: “Mary Fuck*n Poppins”.

Photo from the front row of the Moby show that I went to at Lighting in a Bottle.

I’ll have the same perks that I have had in the past and will be camped again off the 9 o’clock keyhole by Ranger Station Tokyo.

In case you want to come by for a visit.

I’ll be in the little Bambi Airstream again.

I will be up and ready for the event.

I will.

I will be up and ready for tomorrow too.

I got up this morning at 6:30 a.m. so that I would not have to rush.  I took my time, made my bed, got dressed, prayed, read some stuff, got right with God, made breakfast, even had time for a second cup of coffee while I wrote three and a half pages long hand in my notebook.

I even took out the trash and the compost.

I was raring to go.

I made it to work on the N-Judah with ten minutes to spare and window shopped a few minutes in Cole Valley before climbing the stairs to the house.

It was like I had never left.

I fell right back into my groove with my boys.

The only difference being that the littlest one is full on walking and climbing and is at that point in his development where he is all go all the time and does not listen so much to stop or wait, he is too eager to run on ahead and explore.

Which is fantastic.

But.

I can’t run.

I had gotten both the boys out of the stroller and let them loose in the big soccer fields before we got to the children’s play area at the Koret Playground, over in middle of the park by the carousel, and the littlest would just start going in a direction and not stop.

I know this stage pretty well, though, and had a card up my sleeve.

Or snacks, as the case may be.

Puffs.

I would shake the container and he would come tumbling back.

Really, it was rather cute and I spent a lot of time standing in between the two boys out in the big grassy green field shaking a container of puffs while one ran one way and the other ran the opposite direction.

I will say this much, the day went by pretty quick.

It takes me much longer to walk, clean, prep, and engage with the boys.

It felt like it took me double time.

But in reality I was not slowed down that much, but I was always a bit behind my schedule.

Lunch did not happen until almost one p.m.

Naps ran late.

And by the time I did have them in their stroller to go out I knew I could not muster up the energy to go very far.

I had just enough chutzpah in me to make it two blocks before turning around and keeping my fingers crossed that they would both fall asleep.

And miracle of miracles.

They did.

I was granted a reprieve.

I don’t know that I could have made it through with out it.

I got an hour and ten minutes of undisturbed down time.

I talked to my best friend from Wisconsin, whom I never have that kind of opportunity to speak with at the time of day she called and it was awesome to have a minute to throw my ankle up on a chair and chat with her.

Missing her and her boys already.

I also had some tea and I flipped through a magazine and slowly picked up the toys the boys had tossed about during their play time.

And now I know.

I can make it through nine hours of nanny life.

Tomorrow will be more of the same, except that I will stay closer to the house.

I may go out to the park in the afternoon, but only if I feel up to it.

I will stick close to home base and play in the back yard and let the boys caper about in the nursery.

I will take it easy.

I will rest.

I will follow my friends suggestion.

And with that.

This tired nanny is going to make some tea and retire for the evening.

I’d Take A Bullet For You Kid

May 21, 2014

Or apparently a skateboard.

I got hit today in the park on the way to the playground.

It was overwhelming and uncomfortable and strange enough, told me everything I needed to know about where I am at in my life.

The level of compassion I had for the person who hit me.

The level of serenity I had around it as the day went on.

The fact that I took care of myself.

Now.

I only have any of this through the lens of perspective.

It hurt.

I was mad.

It really hurt.

I was mad.

Repeat.

I swore in front of my charges.

Which never happens and I felt almost as bad for that as I did for the pain in my ankle.

I got nailed from behind with a run a way skateboard–one of those gigantic ones that look like surfboards–this morning on my way to the children’s playground in Golden Gate Park.

There are a lot of homeless there.

A lot.

Sometimes I can handle them, most of the time I ignore them, I don’t care to interact and I don’t want to engage and some of them can get aggressive.

I got “nice job mom,” yesterday while I was texting next to the stroller from some snot nosed one of them.

A. I am not the mother.

B. Fuck off.

C. I was texting the mom in regards to the teething.

Oh good gravy the teething.

It is happening.

And the pooping and the changing of the outfits since they got jettisoned with the poop.

Some of them will ooh and ah over the boys, somehow having boys makes it more acceptable to approach or talk to me.

It almost never happens when I have my little girl Thursday.  Or any other girls I have nannied, sometimes an older woman, definitely tourists (I get stopped and asked for directions a lot too–“Where Haight Street?” You’re standing on it. “This Haight Street?” Yes, I know, it’s a bit of a disappointment to me at times too), younger homeless girls will also engage or try to interact.

It’s the guys that bug me though.

They tend to be a little leery and gross and want to apologize for swearing in front of me.

“It’s my birthday,” he said to me in drunken apology.

Yeah.

Dude.

It was your birthday yesterday too and last week, if I recall correctly.

Or they want to hit on me.

They are fairly certain I am not the mom, but I also don’t look like your typical nanny, so I might be the mom, but I am not wearing a ring, but.

Hey, listen, fuck wad.

You smell.

BAD.

You are smoking pilfered cigarettes from trash cans.

Your pants are falling off your ass and you’re not wearing underwear.

Your leisure tan might once have been attractive, but now it just tells me that you can’t afford sunblock, or a shower, or rent, or socks, why in the world would I want to engage with that?

Anyway.

I tend to be leery and cautious around them.

Especially the ones with dogs.

Sometimes I feel sorry for the dogs.

Sometimes I feel sorry for the kids.

Most of the time I give them a wide berth and practice looking intently off into the distance where the park, my destination, is.

Today I noticed a rather unwieldy pack of them and my nanny senses went off.

I corralled the older charge as he was walking alongside me pushing the stroller and I tried to interact with him quietly too, I don’t want to draw attention and I just want through.

They were all up and down the hill in front of Stanyan, across from the McDonald’s and the Whole Foods.

Sleeping in battered sleeping bags, chattering at each other, roaming around.

We made it past the gauntlet and headed down the hill toward the pond where my little guy wanted to stop and see the ducks.  We talked about ducks for a while and then headed through the tunnel, the Alvarez Lake Bridge, and toward the Koret Children’s Playground.

On the other side of the tunnel I could hear the group we had passed, probably six or seven, four or five dogs, a bunch, all carrying knapsacks, a girl with a purple and silver ribboned hula hoop, dread locks, smelling of pot and unemployment.

I pulled my charge closer, stooping to take his hand as the wave of bad smells enveloped me.

When I heard one of the girls commenting on how cute his socks were I lost what patience I had for being anywhere near them and stopped to pick him up.

I heard it before it hit.

“Watch out, watch what you’re doing!”

“Hey, she’s got kids, pay attention, idiot!”

WHAP!

Oh.

My.

Fucking.

God.

Great big long board smack to the back of my right ankle.

Hard.

It broke the skin.

I am bleeding.

It hurts like a son of a bitch.

I am surrounded by these wayward dirt children and dogs and, oh jesus, fuck, it hurts, get away from me.

“Dude!  Apologize to her, what is wrong with you,” one of the boys hollered out.

He stumbled around apologetically, “sorry, sorry, what can I do, are you ok.”

I am actually writing what I think he said, not because I was in white-hot anger and a lot of pain, but because he was tweaked the fuck out of his mind I could barely understand what he was saying, but I knew he was high.

I realized it immediately.

Stepping back I said, “nothing, I am fine, just pay attention to your surroundings,” I was starting to shake a little from the surge of adrenalin I had going through me, and I quickly tucked the little boy I was holding into the stroller and waited for them to move off.

I shuddered.

Then started to cry.

My ankle was blazing.

I took a couple of steps towards the park.

NOPE.

Uh huh.

Stop.

I paused.

Fuck, you pussy, soldier on.

I turned my foot and that’s when I saw the blood on my sock.

Well, fuck, god damn, it broke the skin.

I peeled back the sock and yup, a couple of nasty gouges on my ankle.

I reached into the diaper bag, got a bag of snacks and peeped into the stroller.

WHAT?

The little one was napping.

A full hour a head of normal.

He was sound asleep.

The other little boy stared up at me.

I handed him the bag of Puffs.

“Enjoy, sweetie, we have to head back to the house,” I dropped the snacks into his lap and wheeled the stroller back around.

I had a few moments of wanting to report it.

But what could I even do?

How was I going to identify the guy.

Young.

Homeless.

High.

Dirty.

On a skateboard being pulled along by a large pit bull mix.

I just described half the homeless guys in the park.

He was high.

He should be arrested.

My dramatic self got on her high horse.

Oh please.

You are not that hurt, yeah, it sucks, I make my living using my body a lot, I am not behind a desk, I am not sitting in front of a computer, I have to move and I got scared about that, the physical implications of it.

I mean I was walking in the park minding my own business headed to the playground.

No one expects to sustain an injury doing that.

I limped back to the house, resolved only to clean it out and put a band-aid on it.

When I got there.

Wonders will never cease.

The older boy was asleep, hand in the bag of Puffs.

I almost cried out of relief.

I hobbled up the stairs, dumped my messenger bag, and went to the bathroom.

Then I did cry.

Sobbed really.

Just for a minute.

The dad popped out of his office and scared the crap out of me.

I hadn’t realized he was home.

I wiped my face, told him what happened, cleaned up my foot, put a little Arnica gel on it, two band aids, and went downstairs to have a cup of tea.

“Thanks for taking one for my kid,” the dad said.

Just doing my job.

Glad to be of service.

And grateful I am not a homeless kid in the park with a dog.

And that I can walk.

Really grateful that my charge didn’t get hit and neither little boy knew the difference.

That’s what I call being a professional.

Or a hard ass.

I am not sure which.

 


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