Posts Tagged ‘language’

So. Damn. Close.

June 14, 2019

One more week of my nanny gig.

Then.

The family leaves for six weeks for their annual summer vacation abroad.

I have six more days of work, officially a week from tomorrow will be the last day I nanny for the family for six weeks.

I love them.

I do.

And.

I am ready for a break.

Mostly as I haven’t really had a break yet.

I went from wrapping up my second semester of my PhD program to literally within days, starting to study for my Law & Ethics exam.

I am so over the studying.

I take the test on Tuesday.

I do feel quite prepared for it, but I’m still taking time to study as much as I can.

I am grateful that I scheduled it when I did, as the kids will be done with school tomorrow and on Monday I will go from having one for a half day, to having all three of the monkeys.

I had a little dry run on that today, doing the parents a favor and doing pickup from school with the littlest guy in tow, then running errands up in Noe Valley.

Running errands with three children is no joke.

I have a credit card in my name, small limit, that I use for the family, cafe visits for the kids, picking up groceries, dry cleaning, etc, and I got so busy doing things and juggling the bananas for the monkeys, I left the damn card at the fancy French bakery in Noe, Vive La Tart, when I had stopped to get them croissants for tomorrow.

Sometimes I just have to slow down.

And I did.

I paused and breathed and figured it out really quick that I had done what I had done and I retrieved the card without anything untoward happening aside from having to double back two blocks on the errands to pick it up.

It was worth it, in retrospect, just to watch the three of the kids holding hands and babbling at each other in Finnish.

When I engage with them in public it almost appears that I speak Finnish too, although, I don’t really.

Some basics.

Mom.

Dad.

No.

Elephant.

Crocodile.

Banana.

Milk.

I love you.

Potty.

Brother.

Sister.

Horses Ass.

Oh Yeah.

hahahaha.

Oops.

The middle girl picked that up last year from an uncle while they were visiting in Finland and likes to use it a lot.

A LOT.

Good thing that most people in the area don’t speak Finnish.

It was sweet to be out with them and they love going for rides in my car, which they have fondly dubbed, “The Marshmallow.”

I have an off white Fiat.

It does indeed look like a little marshmallow.

The mom makes sure to remimburse me money for gas for any times I use the Marshmallow.

It’s a nice thing to have.

I really have a nice job with them.

But I won’t lie.

I am ready for my therapy clients and less nanny hours.

I am hoping that over the vacation I will integrate more clients into my schedule.

I have expanded my hours and have more session time available.

Today I did a phone consultation, but it didn’t feel like the client was going to bite.

They are still the in the contemplation phase.

Sometimes it takes time to get into therapy.

Most people, at least in my experience, spend a bit of time thinking about going before they finally pull the trigger.

Which is fine.

I looked at the phone consult today as a way to practice and also to be of service to a person who wants some support.

It’s really nice to be of service.

I love being a therapist.

I know my practice will continue to grow and build.

I just need to get that pesky Law & Ethics exam out of the way.

Tuesday.

It will be here soon.

Then the week will wind down and the family will be off in a big jet plane and I will have down time.

Not complete vacation, I will still be seeing my clients, but I’m only in office four days a week right now.

I will have my complete time off summer vacation when I go to Havana, Cuba July 14th-23rd.

I am really ready for that.

But.

I will have, like I said, three days off a week, and much later starts to the day.

Time for little day trips, movie matinees, eating out lunches with friends, massages, museum visits, sitting in cafes with pleasure reading (what is that?!).

I am  very ready.

Soon.

It will happen soon.

Just a little more work before I get there.

So close I can taste the sleeping in.

So.

Damn.

Close.

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On The Path

December 2, 2015

And I keep on keeping on.

I just registered for my second semester of graduate school.

Hard to believe that I am rounding the bend into the home stretch of the first semester.

It felt odd to be registering for the next semester when it feels like there is still so much of this one left.

That being said.

There’s not really that much more.

I have one more weekend of classes and a final project presentation.

The presentation is the thing I need to focus on next, but I’m still finishing up some of the reading.

I am not going to fret about it.

It will get done.

It always does.

One moment at a time and the work will get done.

I was thinking about that as I deposited a check to my account and immediately pulled a bunch of money out to put into a Christmas card for my Parisian friend who bought my tickets to the ballet at the Garnier Palace Opera House in Paris for the show on the 23rd of this month.

Imagine.

In 22 days I will be in a box seat with people I love watching the ballet in Paris.

In 19 days I fly out of SFO to Paris.

In 17 days it’s my birthday.

December is a big month.

And of course, that final school weekend, that I mentioned already, is December 10th-12th.

I am almost there.

Yet it all seems so far away.

I suppose once the last paper is turned in and I have done the final project presentation I will feel it.

Until then.

It all feels rather surreal.

Like I’m treading water and swimming a million miles a minute all at the same time.

It reminds me of something I read this morning before work, in my Human Development reader about death and how having some knowledge of it makes life that much more rewarding and richer.

That awareness of the present moment being the moment to most focus on.

I can’t see much past what is happening, Paris, et al, as I am so focused on living right here, right now.

It is also an assurance to my mental sanity when I stay in the present.

So many things can go wrong in the future.

Or.

There’s just the fantasy of the future, if this than that, if I wear this will he like it more than that, if I do this will she like me, if I work harder I can do this….

Blah, blah, blah.

It’s just a way to be out of the magic of what is happening right now.

For instance.

Despite being alone tonight.

I am not lonely.

I have some Chet Baker on the stereo.

I have some tea in a mug.

It’s delicious tea.

I have tickets to Paris–my friend got hard paper tickets and they came in the mail today!

I’m going to Paris!

Ahem.

The candles are lit and the air is perfumed.

There are snow flakes hanging from the antlers in the corner and the heater is blowing warm air into the studio–it’s been cold!

There are pretty pictures on my walls, my bed is made, my house is clean, I am registered for classes, friends reached out today and texted me sweet messages.

I enrolled with a friend in my cohort and we managed to get three out of five classes together.

Excellent.

There are many more things that I can reflect on right in front of me.

The photo of my sister and I when we were five and three.

In fact, that’s a thought I keep having, blow it up and frame it and send to my mom for Christmas.

I don’t think she has any other copies of the photo.

I have Christmas cards ready to be written.

Oh!

And if you want a post card from Paris, do let me know, I’ll send one.

Sending postcards has to be one of my favorite things to do, the perfect souvenir, I have postcards that I have sent myself from all over the world.

Rome.

London.

Paris.

Burning Man.

New York.

San Francisco (yes, I do send myself postcards from San Francisco–if it’s somewhere I have never been and I am having an experience I like to document it–heck I send cards to folks that live just down the street).

It’s the thing to do.

Staying here.

Staying in the moment and being kind to myself.

As I was reading school work a bit before I started writing the blog and I realized that I wasn’t really retaining the information.

Sometimes that happens.

So.

I stop.

And refocused and got into the present.

Which is where all the gifts are.

That’s why it’s called the “present.”

Mwhahahaha.

Anyway.

The point being that it’s a night for a little extra self-care, a shower, a snuggle with a cozy blanket, the rest of a French movie my dear Parisian friend suggested–Blue Is The Warmest Color.

I like to watch French movies before I travel to Paris.

It helps with getting the language back into my ear.

French music too.

All the things French.

All the things.

I’m pretty happy right now.

Yes.

I am a touched stressed, there is work to do, but I see it all happening and I know how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing, where I am doing it, and getting to do all the things.

Because.

Ultimately.

I do all the really important things.

If you haven’t figured out what that is yet.

We can have a little talk one on one.

Heh.

Otherwise.

It is safe to say that my life is a miracle.

And I don’t have to be on my deathbed to see it.

I just have to stay.

Present.

 

The One Thing I Don’t Like About You

October 14, 2015

Whoa.

Hey there cowboy.

It’s too early to have my inventory taken.

It got taken anyway.

I got an apology that was very sweet when I pointed out how it felt to be scolded.

My friend, I know, I heard him, did not mean it to come out that way.

The way, I think, I could be wrong, hind sight is never truly 20/20, is, “hey, there’s this thing you do and it detracts from who you are and what an awesome person you could be, why, you’re amazing, you could be even more amazing if you changed this thing about you.”

I bristled.

I always bristle at criticism.

However.

Thank you grad school work, specifically, yes, I am going to say it, thank you T-Group.

Ugh.

All the fucking work I did in that class, and have yet to do, there is a big paper due for the class, one that I won’t focus on quite yet as I have a few other papers ahead of it, but one I do have to address some reading for really soon, although perhaps not this week, all the work.

Well.

It paid off.

I don’t see myself the way that others see me.

My friend says I have all this talent for writing and creativity and such.

I quibble.

I say.

Nah, shucks, I ain’t all that good.

I don’t know the caliber of my writing or the goodness or lack there of.

Or.

Any of it.

I do know that I have gotten better and so much of that has to do with the constant, daily, showing up to write.

I write, on average, 2,500 to 3,000 words a day.

My blog is about 1,1200 to 1,500 words and then I write three pages long hand in the morning.

The days that I write a paper, like Sunday, I wrote over 5,000 words.

5,000.

Damn Gina.

That’s a lot of words.

Even if I started out with just a middling talent for writing, all the practice is going to produce better results.

I will say, I will agree, that I have an ear for words, I like them, they sing to me, I like finding different ways to look at them and arrange them.

Even.

I would argue.

How they fall on the page.

When I started breaking up my lines and sentences more often in my blogs, I liked the way they looked better.

They, the blogs, also felt better.

I don’t have a cognitive theory behind it.

I just like the way it looks.

Plus.

I feel like I am actually transmitting my thoughts and ideas as they fall out of my head.

My writing is extraordinarily stream of thought.

“It reads like you talk,” one of my dear friends told me, “I feel like I am having a conversation with you when I read it.”

So nice to know my voice comes across.

The voice of the blog, Auntie Bubba, is not always the voice of the woman, but it is always damn skippy close.

The two are very entwined.

The only difference is that I have more honesty in my morning pages and less manipulation of words, patterns, rhymes, poetic schemes, or poesie.

I love that word.

Just say it with me.

Poesie.

Of course its French.

Don’t be a silly rabbit.

So.

My friend has noted my skills at language, but also noted my lack of skills around some things which are considered basic self-care, the criticism received was that, man you’re an amazing woman, but you sure put taking care of others a head of you.

REALLY?

Wow.

How insightful.

Fuck you.

I jest.

I know I put other people first.

It’s a survival skill.

Now.

What my friend perhaps doesn’t see, and I won’t argue his assessment, he’s certainly not the first to make it, if it looks like a spade call it a spade, is that I have come so far from how bad it used to be.

Progress.

Not perfection.

I also heard concern for me, which I have heard echoed to me a lot lately as I embarked on the journey of 8 million miles, graduate school, take better care of yourself.

The thing is.

People.

I am trying.

I am trying so hard.

I bought myself flowers on Sunday.

I cooked food for myself to take to work.

I take long, hot showers.

Man, the one tonight, you could have scraped me off the bottom of the shower stall.

I take care of the physical stuff when it arises.

Hello.

You know.

The sexy stuff.

I almost didn’t tonight.

Even though I was thinking about it and the timing was good, home earlier than usual, early start at work, no housemate around, no housemates kid around, light some candles and set the mood Martines!

And I just felt, well, tired.

But.

I also knew that it was time to take time.

And.

Yeah.

Like that.

Better now.

Thanks!

And though I am not rankled by my friends words.

Specifically, what the conversation went like was something to the effect of, “the only thing I don’t like about you is that you don’t take better care of yourself.”

He meant.

I need to put myself first.

My feelings were hurt.

But.

There was also this underlying awareness.

Ok.

Well.

He’s not the first one to say it this week, so what exactly am I doing that doesn’t look like good self-care?

I go to work, I’m on time, I show up, I do a great job with the boys, I ride my bicycle to and from work (most days, got a ride in today which is when the conversation happened), I bring home-made food with me.

I drink a big glass of water as soon as I wake up.

I brush my teeth three times a day.

And.

I fucking floss once a day.

Who out there flosses?

Exactly.

I keep my house clean.

I listen to music every night when I blog.

The Orb is playing right now.

I eat organic food.

I make really nice coffee.

I have pajamas.

Although, I think it might be time for a new set.

I know that I work a lot and I work hard, but you see, there’s no one but me and I have become accustomed to a certain kind of living.

It’s simple, but it’s mine.

Shh.

Me thinks she doth protest too much.

What self-care I need is to implement more joy of living.

Which is why I love Burning Man so much, it’s play time, even when it’s hella hard work.

“I noticed something,” my friend said, “you only go to the beach when you are sad.”

Ouch.

Fuck.

He really does see me quite well.

So what did I learn from T-Group, from my friend, from my people, and my cohort, from my community?

That I could stand to have some more laughing and silliness and how I am going to manage that, I don’t know.

I suppose, start by surrendering to the idea that I am going it all alone.

Rely a little more on others.

Give myself a break.

Walk down to the ocean for no reason other than it’s there.

Go to a museum.

I have not been to one since my trip months ago to LA, way back, to that wonderful time when I had time, before school started.

Any kind of fun.

Something for myself.

I fully acknowledge that the first feeling that comes up is sadness.

Grief.

Fun is some how equated in my mind with grief.

Now.

This is something I am only now, I mean now, in this moment realizing.

I have some sort of negative correlation to having fun with loss.

There is so much to unpack here, I am not going into it after a long day at work and having already devoted an hour to reading my Human Development text.

Which in and off itself can sometimes be a challenge to read when I reflect on where I come from and how many battles I have had to soldier through growing up the way I did.

The deck was stacked.

It was so stacked against me.

But.

There is joy too.

In the memories of my childhood.

The orchard in Windsor.

Climbing trees.

Flying kites at Warner Park.

Riding my bicycle.

Ice skating.

Playing relay races at the park during the long slow twilight of summer nights.

Sitting in the back yard, the grass high, watching the clouds roll by.

Maybe that’s all I need to do.

Go lie outside somewhere and watch the clouds go by.

What were the skies like when you were young?
They went on forever and they, when I, we lived in Arizona
And the skies always had little fluffy clouds
And they moved down, they were long and clear
And there were lots of stars at night

And when it would rain it would all turn, it, they were beautiful
The most beautiful skies as a matter of fact
The sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire
And the clouds would catch the colors everywhere
That’s neat, cause I used to look at them all the time when I was little
You don’t see that

Layering different sounds on top of each other
Layering different sounds on top of each other

Little fluffy clouds and little fluffy clouds and
Little fluffy clouds and little fluffy clouds and

Another Weekend Down

October 5, 2015

BAM.

Second full weekend of school, excluding the retreat (graduate school boot camp, remember), has now finished.

Of course there is the fall out.

The homework.

It is about to really begin.

I have a lot of papers that I have to do and a lot of reading that I have to do.

That is par for the course, of course.

I’ve got the paper for Human Development, the one for Therapeutic Communications, the one for psychoanalytic class, and now, yes, the one for T-Group.

I have four freaking papers plus I have to do a proposal for my Human Development class in regards to my final project.

Gack.

I got a message today, that I just read in my e-mail: “practice compassion for yourself, grad school is hard, graduate school to be a therapist is RIDICULOUSLY hard.

I laughed.

She was right.

It is hard.

The work load is heavy, but there was some relief today in that T-Group has officially finished.

Yes.

I have to write a big paper for the class.

And.

Yes.

I am sad that it is over.

And not sad.

Not sad at all.

Relieved.

As well that it is over.

Although I gleaned so much for it, so much learning, so much pushing of myself, so much finding the leading edge of who I am and pushing over the other side into territories completely unknown.

I also may have found my graduate school mentor, who is not my graduate school advisor–I haven’t met with him yet, although we exchanged some pleasantries the first weekend over orientation.

Nope.

My T-Group facilitator is the woman of whom I speak.

I approached her after, after having thanked her, thanked the group, and thanked myself, in a way, for showing up and doing the work and witnessing all the work, I imagine that was really hard to, to hold that space for all of us bumbling about as we learned how to do the work of self-investigation and how to resolve conflicts in relationships.

Relationship ruptures and repairs.

Of which I saw quite a few.

Of which I participated in a few.

I got to see where I have assumptions and how that colors my world view.

I also saw, yet again, it just keeps happening.

That I do not see myself the way that others see me.

“You are so smart.”

Yeah.

I know.

But.

I don’t know.

I know too, that there was a little projection onto the facilitator, which happens in group therapy work, the tendency to bring in the family of origin dynamics and play them out in front of the group, whether it is unconscious or not, and how the feelings for the facilitator also had something to do with a positive mother figure for me.

Someone who was unabashedly available to support me and my growth and my leaning without judgement.

And.

All the while seeing me.

“I see you,” she told me.

And.

I felt seen.

I don’t often.

All of that I take responsibility for, I don’t allow myself, even here, to be completely seen.

The fear of what it means to be vulnerable will often overwhelm me.

I could actually feel myself girding my loins, so to speak, and gilding the lily.

Not so much to speak.

But I put on a little mask today, I choose my weapons well and I knew I was doing it.

First, I put up the hair and I made it big.

Then I put on the eyes and made them big.

And.

I put on my favorite pair of tights that are black and have the lyrics to “Be My Little Baby” on them and a pair of blue jean shorts and a favorite shirt and I put on the big dangling earrings.

Meaning.

I put on the Carmen costume.

It’s a costume I know well and it comes complete with full cats eye makeup and eyeliner.

Because that is how I roll.

And I roll well.

My ego.

That is.

But it doesn’t mean that the mask didn’t slip or that I didn’t take it off.

I did.

The mask slipped right off the minute I opened my mouth.

I opened my mouth a lot.

I started off the group and I led with my feelings and I led with my heart.

I was my authentic person and I was more than my authentic person as I learned what else I needed to allow in to fully embrace all that is and was me in those moments.

There’s a lot of me.

A lot of feelings.

Vulnerability.

Love.

Gratitude.

Grief.

Acceptance.

Joy.

Ebullience.

Kindness.

Empathy.

Compassion.

Generosity of spirit.

Confusion.

Anger.

More sadness.

Grief.

Grief.

Grief.

Then.

LOVE AND MORE LOVE AND LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

And maybe even a little more love.

There’s poetry.

That is one thing that I found out about myself and that I thanked my facilitator for–the acknowledgement of my language, the depth of my words, even that I make up words, but that they work, that I am able to negotiate my way through the world, at least through T-Group, but really, I do suspect, through the world, with aplomb, and beautiful words.

When the class ended I said I realized even more fully how much a poet I am.

The language of love.

The language of need.

The Eros of lack.

The desire to be full subsumed in language.

It is my intoxicant.

What I learned from T-Group was another way of communication.

Lead with my feelings, reflect to the person what I am feeling, let them know what the interaction brings up for me emotionally.

Then.

Give them feedback.

And if I need something, make a request.

Most often today it was being a mirror and opening space for my group members to reflect.

But I did do work and I could tell.

The tears they never fully stopped running down my face.

But.

I was not a completely ignorant warrior with my eye make up, the cat eye was elevated so my eyeliner did not run.

The tears flowed.

Like they so often do.

And I learned.

Oh.

Ever so much more.

And gratitude.

Well.

It continues to deepen each day I showed up and each day that I continue to show up.

For my life.

For this page.

For my recovery.

Is the perfect.

(dust)

Storm.

My life imperfection perfected.

Moves a pace.

Grace (full) like a cat.

And playful too.

That soft underbelly of my soul just there revealed, but not reviled.

That warm animal.

Me.

That soft hearted tenderness.

You.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Wild Geese, Mary Oliver

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles

September 12, 2015

Begins with a single step.

Foiled again.

I just put down Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching–The Tao of Leadership.

I had never known who to attribute this quote to, although it resonated with me so much so when I first heard it, I was 17 or 18, that I used it for my senior year quotation.

It was either that or I was going to use the Fear Prayer from Dune.

I will leave to your imagination the challenges of my growing up.

I have written of them often and I don’t see them as good or bad, wrong or right, I certainly don’t apply these terminally ugly words either–would, should, or could, to my experiences.

They are just experiences.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with them and I have to get out all my feeling words and vocabulary and try to parse something from the experience, rather than just be in it.

I was trying to do something akin to that on my ride home from school today.

My ride home from my campus, my ride home from my graduate school program, my first day of school, my first day, truly, as a graduate school student.

It was a full ass day.

It started at 9 a.m. and it ended at 8p.m.

Tomorrow will be much the same, the day will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 8p.m.

I will have diversity training from 9 a.m. until 2p.m.

Then Group Dynamics from 2p.m. until 4p.m.

After that an hour break and then convening from 5p.m. until 8p.m. for Psychodynamics.

Class will be the same for Sunday, 9 a.m. until 8p.m.

Fuck.

Work is going to feel like a picnic, like a break, like a rest.

And work is not necessarily restful for me.

I digress.

I get ahead of myself.

I leave the moment, where there is nothing wrong, where I am doing the best I god damn can, and I am writing, even though I could be reading more, my brain will only hold so much and if I don’t lay some of it down, like a good yeoman dropping the plow to rest, I won’t have the space in my brain to take in more information.

There will be more information.

There will be more learning.

There will be more not understanding what is happening and just letting it happen.

There will also be the happy coincidence of having actually taken a good photograph for a student id!

I was shocked.

I figured there would be thirteen chins and my nostrils would be flared and I don’t know, all my photos for ids are wonky, but it actually turned out and there it is.

I have a student Id.

Where are my discounts bitches?

I jest.

Really the only thing I want with my student id is to be able to access the gated and locked space where I can park my bicycle, a space that is outdoors, but also covered.

Hallelujah.

It’s such a nice thing.

Just not having to worry about my whip.

I was grateful.

I was also grateful to get on my bicycle at the end of the day.

To ride away from campus and head home.

Despite the wind kicking up and the night being a little blustery, it felt good to be in my body, when I could get my mind off my classes and actually be present for the bicycle ride.

There was the same old song and dance in my head about how I work so hard and I am doing all the things and how come I am working so hard again, and that phrase popped into my head, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” except that I transmuted it to my bicycle pedal.

One pedal at a time.

One stroke at a time.

Push down.

Pull up.

I wanted to be stuck in my head.

I wanted to feel isolated.

I wanted to cry out.

Just because you read my blog does not mean you know what I am feeling!

I am lonely.

But not alone.

I know that.

And the lonely will pass.

I am busy and I have made this choice to go to graduate school, to take on the awesome and amazing adventure of becoming more me and more of service and more available.

My needs are met.

Despite my pay check being $0.00 today–really why even send me a pay stub?

I had forgotten that.

No pay for me while I was at Burning Man.

Sigh.

But I am ok.

I have what I need.

I paid my phone bill today.

I have a beautiful body that I get to walk around in, bicycle in, sleep in.

I have food.

Although I am going to have to manage eating better, I can’t afford to eat out twice in one day three times a weekend, that’s just too much.

I will be bringing food with, I just have to find time to go grocery shopping.

Probably Sunday night after my last class ends.

I don’t think I’ll be doing my normal cooking for the week like I usually do, but I don’t think anything about my schedule is going to be “usual” any more.

This is ok.

I am learning.

I am growing.

I will continue to do so.

And.

I am loving more.

I did find that I wanted to wall up a little my first day of class, that there was a struggle, internal, to be open, to be present, to be with my cohort and to let them see me.

Despite my “newly” pink hair (new to folks in my class, not that I have dyed it again) and safety orange pants.

I was grateful to reconnect with friends and classmates and to have met a new professor who is eccentric and smart and called me right the fuck out in class when we did our introductions, “oh, yes, you ARE smarter than me, I can tell.”

I did not mean to put on my smarty pants, but I felt inadequate.

I am just a nanny after all.

Not a clinician or lawyer or social worker.

I haven’t studied Gestalt for the last two years.

Hell, I don’t even know what Gestalt is or Freud for that matter.

But.

My professor picked up on both my insecurity be hearing the language I used and gently and succinctly put me in my place.

I am not smarter than she.

But I am smart.

And just because no one validated me the way I needed to be validated growing up doesn’t mean that I can’t give it to myself, that I can’t move forward, that it is all hard work with no validation and approval.

I approve myself.

I have worked so fucking hard to get here.

And the journey is beautiful.

And one step at a time.

And once in a while.

I will stop in that step, look around, and be so grateful that my journey has brought me here, to this place of privilege.

“How do you do it?” He asked me in the hall way between classes.

“How do you manage to live in San Francisco and go to school?”

I don’t know and if I speculate too hard on it I will freak out.

I just get to do it.

I get to.

Being the operative language.

I am a lucky motherfucker.

I am.

And.

The journey?

Why.

It is glorious.

Duck, Duck, Duck

October 30, 2013

Flamingo.

He said with a coy little look.

Oh my god, my little boy made his first joke with me.

I just about died.

It actually topped his new favorite word for me, which when told that he combined two of his father’s favorite foods into one delicious noun: “cheesebutter,” over the weekend when his papa was cooking dinner.

Yeah, baby, put some cheesebutter on that please.

In the back yard of the house in Cole Valley there is a lovely little swath of grass, a couple of Meyer lemon trees, a deck that rises over the yard and a large rattan couch and chair with assorted outdoor pillows and cushions.

When the weather is nice my guy and I will sit on the back porch and I will point out things to him.

“Lemon tree.”

“Grass.”

“Jasmine.”

“Raspberry plant.”

“Clover.”

And he will point out things to me.

“Duck.”

“No, sweetie, that’s a flamingo,” I say pointing to the pink plastic bird abandoned in the back yard, an odd gift from a visiting friend, because, you know, everyone needs a pink flamingo in their yard, right?

“Duck,” he says again very adamant, very serious, “duck.”

“Flamingo.”

“Duck.”

“Fla-ming-go.” I will say, drawing out the word long, sounding it out for his ears.

“Duck, duck, duck,” he says, giggling and saying the word as fast as his little 18 month old mouth can make up the words.

“Goose!” I throw in for a twist.

He laughs, I laugh, and then he says, of course, to get in the last word, “duck!”

And there it is.

The gist of many my afternoon’s of conversation.

That ain’t too bad when you think about it.

I don’t have anyone breathing down my neck to get a report done, I don’t have an employee calling sick with “stomach flu” or even better, “food poisoning,” I don’t have a boss monitoring me all the time.

Although I am on nanny cam.

I don’t know how often that it is monitored, but it’s there.

They basically have security cameras in all the rooms.

I would too if I lived in their house, it’s a nice house, they have nice things.

But occasionally I know that mom will slip in an observation and say something about my routine or make a comment and I know pretty much that there was some camera watching going on.

However, I don’t believe that they really spend a lot of time monitoring me.

I feel quite trusted and cared for.

Mom makes sure the tea drawer is stocked with teas I like and she has drawn up a contract basically putting me on salary to assure that I am not losing money if she happens to come back early from yoga class or acupuncture or work.

She actually had to work at the office today and wouldn’t it be the same day that I forgot to set my alarm.

It happens every once in a great while and though it did not throw me into a panic (I still made my bed, had breakfast, washed, dressed, read my daily readings, and addressed the powers that be to guide my day) I still was on a hustle to make sure that I got to work on time.

14 minutes.

14.

Door to door.

Up hill.

Well, the hill isn’t all that steep, but it is a grind and my legs know it and to push a little harder this morning to make sure that I got there on time, so that mom could leave on time, was important.

I popped a sweat three blocks earlier than I normally do.

I got my cardio today, I did, I did.

I got to work with five minutes to spare and wiped my brow down and drank half a liter of water out of my Sigg bottle.

I put the bike in the garage, locked it up, and headed up the stairs to the kitchen.

Where my guy was busy putting on his morning oatmeal mask.

He knows how to use a spoon, but usually what that entails is scooping up the oatmeal and then grabbing it off the spoon with his other hand and shoving that into his mouth.

Or eyebrows, or ears.

I find oatmeal on him for hours later.

I always tell him to really enjoy this time, oatmeal masks in the morning, two naps, being pushed around in a stroller, sung to, massaged, held, cuddled, I could go on, he’s living the life, basically.

The mom tells me that she took him in for his 18 month check up and the doctor was blown away by his vocabulary.

He’s a verbal boy, not all boys are.

But he’s got a super smart mom and dad, mom’s got a doctorate, dad’s an engineer, he’s not from stupid folks.

And then there’s me.

I know that the kids I take care of are a head of the curve partially because of me too.

I teach them.

I read to them.

I talk to them like they are people.

I tell stories.

We dance.

I mean, learning is no task, it is fun, when did it become a challenge for me to learn something new?  How young was I when I was informed that I should be careful and hold back and not leap?

Too young.

Anyway, I digress.

The mom related the story of how over the weekend he finally said flamingo.

He would not perform, he would not say the word for me, but he did slip out a sly little quiet “duck,” and I saw a glint in his eye, underneath all the oatmeal.

And two and a half hours later when I was changing his diaper in the nursery we were talking, farm animals, you know, what they sound like and all, “what does a dog say?”

“Woof.”

“What does a cow say?”

“Moo.”

“What does a kitty say?”

“Meow.”

“What does a duck say?”

“Flamingo!”

What?

Oh my god.

I almost dropped the diaper.

I grabbed his toes and said, “what does a duck say?”

He giggled.

“Quack.”

I just about died.

“Flamingo,” I said, waiting.

“Duck!”

“Flamingo!”

It was awesome, made my day, and my day was a long busy, baby juggling kind of day.

But every once in a while he would slip in a “flamingo” and I would laugh.

My boss has a great sense of humour.

The moral of the story is not that there is a silver lining in every cloud.

But there may be a flamingo.


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