Posts Tagged ‘nanny adventures’

My God

October 21, 2017

It’s so good to be home.

It was one hell of a day.

A Friday for sure, as if each child I was working with knew it was their last time to get the most out of me and work every angle.

I love my charges, I do, I do, and yet, today I knew I was going to have to bring it hard.

Two weeks of them being sick had finally begun to wear off and they were raring to get into anything they could.

Numerous intense tantrums about small things, often mitigated and blown over in a matter of minutes if not seconds, but so intense while they were happening that I was almost constantly caught off guard by them.

And then super intense, super sweet affection, hand holding, cuddling, and connection.

I love my little bugs.

We did have a grand day when I reflect, now that I can reflect, now that I am home and have eaten a hot meal and have had a chance to slip off my therapy shoes (I have different shoes for when I nanny and they are very utilitarian and sturdy, the family has a no shoes policy indoors, but since I’m on my feet all day I insist on having shoes there.  I keep a pair of clogs there and then I have walking shoes for outdoor time.  Neither set of shoes says professional to me or therapist.  My Fluevogs though, well, they say something.  I don’t know if it’s necessarily traditional therapist language they speak, but they speak my language and I do like having a separate pair of shoes, a mode to slip into, a costume, no, better yet, a persona.  Like that for a digression? Heh.) and get into a more comfortable space.

I went in early.

I made them pancakes.

The oldest boy loves my pancakes.

LOVES.

So anytime that he can get them he does.

I made him his one big pancake and then a bunch of silver dollar pancakes with, wait for it, heart-shaped confetti cake decorations, for my little ladybug.

She was so happy.

I told her I put something secret in her pancakes and she literally clapped.

That was nice.

Who’s your nanny?

Heh.

I helped out around the house and then with the mom we all headed downtown.

Special Friday lunch at Super Duper Burger and then I took the monkeys on a cable car ride and we went to the Cable Car Museum.

My little girl charge was mildly interested but over it pretty quick.

Her brother, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough of it, he was absolutely enthralled.

And did not want to leave even for the thought of getting ice cream with mom when we reconnected.

I plan on going back with him for a solo trip at some point and really letting him geek out a bit, he loves engines and cars and trains and it was just so sweet to see how big his eyes got watching the cables do their work.

There are viewing rooms where you can see them running and they have a huge open air space with a broad mezzanine above it that you can watch each cable spinning for each line that it runs.

It is frankly awesome and it’s free.

Can’t sneeze at that.

And the cable car ride was too!

We offered up our MUNI card passes when they came to take tickets and the cable car operator waved them off, “locals,” he said and smiled with a wink.

“Did he let us ride for free?!” My charge ask with a secret look of insider pleasure, “because we live here?!”

“Yes, I said, he did, let’s make sure and thank him when we get off again.”

It was a great experience and a joy to be with them, even when they got frustrated with each other and I had to separate them for a while.

Then we met mom and ducked into the Westfield Mall and got them ice-cream cones with rainbow sprinkles at Hagen Das.

Not bad for a Friday.

I was pretty cooked by the time we got back to the house and not really looking forward to going into my internship and seeing clients.

But.

Well.

I just fucking rallied and went and the sessions were really good.

I left feeling jacked up and excited and happy to be a therapist and of course, there was the allure of coming home, of getting to have some nice food, to have a chat with my best friend on the phone, and then to realize.

Holy Shit.

I made it through the week and tomorrow is Saturday!

I just went and signed up for a yoga class for the morning.

Very happy for that, although I’m sure to be sore, no practice last week with my being in classes the whole weekend.

I mean.

I found ways to get some exercise but there was no sparing an hour and fifteen minutes to go to the yoga studio.

Tomorrow I can.

I will still have to go to my internship for three hours but I’ll have the rest of the day off.

I’ll go check in with my people in the evening over in the NOPA and get right with God.

I’ll maybe hit a cafe and just sit and chill.

Well, I’ll sit and read for school, but it will be nice to do it in a cafe versus here at home or in my office at my internship.

I like being out in the world.

Especially after having been so cooped up the past week with the smoke from all the wildfires.

Ah.

It’s good to be alive.

And now.

Time to wind it down, have a nice snack, drink some hot tea.

Yeah.

That is my Friday night and I’m fucking excited for it.

Now excuse me please.

Me and my bunny slippers need to get our chill on.

Seriously.

 

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Reunion

September 6, 2017

And it was good.

She ran to me with the biggest smile on her face and threw herself into my arms.

Good thing I was ready for her or I would have been bowled over.

I picked her up and snuggled her in for a great big hug.

“I asked _______________ what the best part of school was,” the mom told me today, “and she replied, ‘getting picked up!'”

And so pick her up I did.

She was so happy to see me and I was so happy to see her.

I got to get her early from school and she and I had 45 minutes to kill before her brother got out of his class, so we went to get special treats from Bi-Rite.

Bagels and plums and boxes of milk with straws.

Bubbly water.

She likes it as much as I do so now I always get two bottles or she’ll drink all of mine and then burp at me and laugh.

God I love this child.

I love all the children I have gotten to work with, and I am always surprised to find that there is more love in me to hold and to give.

This family, though, they are special, and I am so blessed to get to work for them.

I got to talk to the mom about Burning Man and show off my photos.

I got to snuggle with my little lady and hold hands, I mean, there was no shortage of holding hands, she was literally on top of me from the first minute I picked her up from school.

I got to have marvelous conversations with the oldest boy and also I made him his favorite dinner.

Roast chicken.

“OOOOOOH,” he said, when he saw that I had a chicken in the pan on the counter, “roasty chicken!!”

I almost had to tell him not to touch it since it wasn’t cooked yet, it was pretty adorable.

And I got the sweetest text later in the day when I was at my internship after work, the dad sent me a message saying welcome back and thank you so much for the roast chicken and cauliflower, it was so good.

There were many “o’s” in the “so” part, it was pretty damn cute.

I made my salt and pepper roast chicken and then topped it with tarragon brown butter and I roasted off cauliflower with coconut oil, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt.

All sorts of yum.

The baby even seemed excited to see me.

It was a warm and sweet and kind welcome back.

I am super lucky to have this family and it feels like they think they are super lucky to have me.

It’s a mutual thing.

And it’s a short week at work, which is a nice thing to.

Helps to get me acclimated to being there again and helps to ease the transition into the next few weeks which will be busy weeks for the family.

I’m grateful for them, the job, the environment, the freedom to be myself.

I realize more and more how important it is to be my authentic self.

In work, in relationships, in my internship, at school.

I also realized that I don’t need Burning Man to do that any more.

That I have fully embraced my authenticity, that I live an out loud, passionate, committed, loving life.

I don’t have to run off to that thing in the desert to find expression for myself and who I am.

And thus.

I feel.

I may be saying goodbye to Burning Man.

I had a sweet burn, I had wonderful talks with many a lady out there and I feel like I deepened some relationships that I didn’t even know I was needing to deepen.

But the fact is I am not searching for anything or anyone and I don’t have to work so hard to work so hard to enjoy a vacation.

Maybe, just maybe, I want to go somewhere with a hot shower.

Maybe I want to lay on the beach.

Maybe I want to be pampered and not have to do a ton of work and organizing and fretting and figuring it out.

My God.

The amount of mental free space I currently have for not trying to figure out how to get to and from the event is mind-blowing.

I have so many other things that I would rather focus my time, attention, energy, and love on.

So.

Yes.

I believe this last burn was my swan song.

Ironic that I saw nothing burn.

I spent my time writing, getting blown up in dust storms, connecting with ladies I love, hanging out at camp and talking with people in my community.

It was perfect and I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I feel that I have been asking Burning Man to give me something for years.

And that expectation only hindered me and my growth.

Having finally seen that.

Well.

It doesn’t feel like I need to go so badly anymore.

Next year I’ve got the Aids Life Cycle ride.

And.

And!

AND!!

Graduation from my Masters in Psychology program.

The school has set a tentative commencement date.

Saturday, May 19th.

I can’t wait.

It’s going to be epic.

You should come.

Seriously!

Because you probably won’t see me at that thing in the desert next year.

Might as well catch me when I let my mortar board sail into the air with joy.

It’s going to be great.

It’s going to be amazing.

Because.

Well.

My life already is.

Luckiest girl in the world.

Luckiest damn girl.

 

It’s The Weekend!

April 1, 2017

No it’s not.

I mean.

Technically, yes, it’s Friday and tomorrow I will get up and go to yoga as I have been doing on the weekends, but instead of having the day to do with what I would, I will be working.

I’m ok with it.

Not thrilled.

But.

Ok.

First.

Let’s be frank.

The extra money is nice.

I just paid rent and I’m not skint, not be a long shot, but I am short and since the whole out-of-pocket dentist deal, I’ve been a little more paycheck to paycheck then I would like to be.

Overall.

There’s nothing to worry about.

And hey.

I just applied for some more student loans!

Yay.

Gah.

So, there’s that.

I decided that I will not sabotage my holiday plans to Paris, I have been saving up for this and I have been holding onto my tax return specifically to go to Paris, to have my ten days and eat them too, drink the cafes, eat the art, walk the streets, wander through the arrondissements, walk the parks, sit and watch the Parisians go by, I deserve this vacation.

I have been working my ass off.

I decided to apply for the summer financial aid that is being offered for my program instead of dipping into my travel fund.

It’s school.

It’s not cocaine.

So.

I don’t want to hear it.

Plus.

My student loans are the only debt I have, I don’t have credit cards or anything outstanding on my scooter–bought that in cash–I have no debt of any kind nor have I in some time, I’m ok with taking out a little more.

I’m paying for it either way and I also realized that though I am ok with paying the therapy once a week out-of-pocket, it would be nice to throw some of my financial aid at that as well, since technically I do have to do it for my degree.

Anyway.

The long and short of it is that I’m not going to live in financial fear, I am going to take care of myself, and the money that I will get for working over the weekend for the family will be nice.

And

Yes.

In cash.

No taxes taken out, thank you very much.

I’m also happy to do it to help out the family, the mom has been so appreciative of my help and flexibility with them, especially with dad traveling for work, that it doesn’t seem that much of an imposition.

Plus.

I have done my school work and I’m pretty much prepped for next weekends classes.

Unusual to have it all done, except for a bit of reading I’ll address next week, and not to have any papers I have to write the weekend before, for which I’m really grateful.

I also know that I will be having fun adventures with my charges, I’m going to get them out of the house and either off to the Academy of Sciences, the Zoo, or the Exploratorium.

We will not be going to the Upper Noe Valley Rec center, as lovely as that can be, we will be having a field trip.

And it’s going to be good weather.

And I will get to yoga before work and go do the deal afterward.

The time will pass and I won’t be doing super long days, just six hours.

I am a little tired, I won’t lie, but I have also paced myself well this week, gotten out to do the deal every night, seen folks, spoken, shared, did service, took care of what needed to be taken care of, shared experience, strength, hope, and got decent sleep all week.

Not bad.

I even got flowers from the mom today at work for doing such a nice job for them this week.

I was totally not expecting that and it was so sweet and touching, I teared up a little.

This job is such a gift.

I am a very lucky girl.

I got smiles from the baby today.

Snuggles from both the older kids.

I got to see my former charges at school pickup.

And.

Ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles (not for me, but for the kids) from Bi-Rite Ice Creamery.

Vicarious joy.

I had an amazing afternoon start with the mom and solo time with the baby I wasn’t expecting, it was the first time I was left completely on my own with the baby and it felt like a really nice thing, an affirmation of my abilities, but also a trusting and that was nice.

Things are good.

Life is full.

The days are longer, full of sunshine and I feel brighter too.

Certainly more accepting of myself and my process with my job, where I am at with the internship, the fact, god damn, the fucking fact, that I have all the paperwork signed and turned in, that I navigated this deal since December and have it ready to go and that I’ll be starting in summer, a full semester before I need to, that I get to start accruing my hours really soon.

Like.

In two months.

I start my internship May 22nd.

The day after I get back from Paris.

That date is actually for the paperwork, my supervisor looked up at me, pushed his glasses up his nose and said, “well, let’s just put the 22nd down for your start, but I think we’ll start you on the 23rd, give you a day to get over your jet lag.”

Much appreciated.

Damn.

I’m 3/4s of the way through the semester, two weekends of work left, three papers, a bunch of reading, but really, I’m getting there.

Then.

Paris.

So happy I bought the ticket.

My life is a dream.

Especially when I see it through the perspective of the service I get to do, just by showing up and letting others bear witness to my process and journey.

So many gifts.

Life.

Lived.

Moment to moment.

In.

This.

The.

Present.

Staying In The Moment

March 18, 2017

Is hard to do.

Seriously.

If I’m not careful I’ve skipped over the whole weekend and I’m back at Monday and in the work grind again.

I can do that, magically get so caught up in the things that I need to get done that I forget to do the things for myself that I need to do, slow down, breathe, appreciate my efforts for the things I have done.

Acknowledge that shit, yo.

I worked a full week of work after having done a full weekend of school which was just following a full week of work.

So yes.

Tomorrow is my first day off in two weeks.

Hallelujah.

I am stoked.

I am going to do some nice things for me as I have done a lot of work for school over the past week, from showing up to my internship and signing papers, to e-mailing and contacting supervisors, to making appointments to interview with a possible supervisor–next Wednesday, to reading four chapters of Trauma class readings, and contacting possible therapists as I will need to be in therapy as I am working with the clients that I will be helping.

I have signed up for two yoga classes this weekend.

I have plans to see my people, two back to back sit downs to read and do the deal on Saturday.

And yes, I think I will, a nice little mani/pedi at the local nail salon as well as some eyebrow help, they’re starting to get a little out of control, as they do.

I may take myself out for a nice lunch.

I am thinking I will go out to dinner tomorrow night and do some fellowship.

Dinner somewhere in the NOPA neighborhood.

Sunday a day with a friend in San Leandro.

Sunday night a quick visit with a friend in the neighborhood.

And bam.

See.

I told you.

It’s Monday.

And somewhere in there I need to do food prep and cooking and I have entertained the possibility of writing my Trauma reflection paper.

Just to have it the fuck out the way.

Especially since I am going to be working an extra weekend this month.

I was also asked to work next Friday by a family I used to work for and I had to say no.

I am going to help out my current family the last weekend of the month, basically work a Saturday and a Sunday while the dad is away on work, the days won’t be super long, granted, but not having any days off will be challenging and I’m pretty aware of that.

I have turned down two gigs recently.

The one to work next week and a wedding in Napa.

Part of me considered very seriously both propositions.

The extra money would be nice, but.

I really want to see the boys I used to work for, but.

I just can’t do it.

I feel like I need all the reserves I can get to just get through my work and my school work and the additional stress of figuring out all the practicum stuff has been wearing on me, I am hoping, so hoping, that the Wednesday interview, before I go to work (which I might as well get used to, I’m going to be working with a supervisor once a week for two hours before I head into work for a year) and interview with him.

Please say yes mister supervisor.

I don’t have much energy to keep looking.

I am also looking for a therapist.

The first one who was referred to me couldn’t fit me into her schedule.

But she was super helpful and offered to refer me out and I said yes please, of course, I haven’t heard anything else back, but I tried.

I just emailed another therapist tonight too to keep that ball rolling.

I will have to be doing it as part of my program and I have to be doing it while I see clients.

This is good and I am rather looking forward to it.

And frankly.

After two years of studying and training and practicing how to be a therapist I’m ready for a little of that love to be turned back around on me.

In some ways, it has, especially in the actions that I took today and over the last week, in regards to what I can do, how I can take care of myself and what I need to do to take care of myself.

Like.

Not working on my days off.

Ok, yes, I am working that weekend for my current family, but we negotiated easy hours for me, a big break, payment in cash, and I’ll get my meals covered and probably have a fun field trip type day out with the charges.

It will be a fun adventure.

And yes I will be tired, and yes, I will need to be gentle with myself.

Which is also why I said no, to the other two queries, and the best thing about it?

God damn.

It felt like such a win.

I didn’t justify or explain my response.

I said simply in both cases, thank you so much for thinking of me, which is true, but no thank you.

It is nice to be thought of, it is nice to be the type of person that others want you to work for them, that they want you so much that even though they think I probably can’t (both parties said it, it was sweet), they want me bad enough that they’re going to ask either way, just in case.

I was flattered.

And though I felt momentarily guilty about taking care of myself over taking care of others.

I got the fuck over it.

Self-care people.

It really is a thing.

So.

Here’s to me doing some sweet, kind, generous, loving things for myself this weekend.

So that I may be sweet, kind, generous, loving, and caring to those around me.

Now excuse me.

I have to put on my oxygen mask before assisting others to the exit slide.

Heh.

 

 

The Last Family

March 4, 2017

My friend said this to me tonight.

And he’s right.

My current family is probably going to be my last family.

It is with some disbelief that I said it, but really, I knew it when I started, that they could very well be the last family I nanny for.

They want me for four years.

That will get me all the way through grad school.

Masters and Doctorate.

Doctor Carmen.

I like how that sounds.

Actually.

I fucking love how that sounds.

And I love that this is my last family.

I also love this family.

I really do.

They are fierce, funny, smart, good-hearted and generous, and that’s just the kids.

I got my first baby smile today from the new-born, who, I suppose is not quite so new, being three months today, but still, such a smile.

Made my heart melt.

Plus.

I had just a total scrumptuous day with the little lady.

We went down town, which I might have nixed had I known that there was a conference happening at the Moscone Center, and had a day at the Children’s Creativity Museum that is just behind Yerba Buena Gardens.

We took the J-Church train downtown and got to stroll around and enjoy the weather.

Sunny today.

Rain tomorrow.

Focused on the sun.

So nice to be out in the day and have a fun time at the museum.

And the carousel.

The LeRoy King carousel.

Such a treat.

In fact.

We rode it five times.

The joy on that child’s face was and is indescribable.

I took so many pictures.

None of which I will post here, no pictures of my charges, but safe to say, it was joy, unadulterated sunshiny joy.

We had so much fun.

We ran around the museum.

We went to the Play Circle Park, where the giant slides are.

If you have not been to the Play Circle Park you definitely need to check it out, giant slides, need I say more?

We actually left the museum and park for lunch, normally we would have just eaten at the museum cafe, but because of the conference, it was packed.

Thankfully I know the downtown a little bit and steered us just a tiny bit off the beaten path of the Moscone Center and we hit a nice little cafe for a big grilled cheese for her and a chopped salad for me.

Then.

Yes.

My charge convinced me, and hey, it is Friday, so, fuck it, one more spin on the carousel.

We negotiated one more trip through the museum, mostly to use the bathrooms and she wanted more entry/exit stamps, but skipped the giant slides at the park to take the carousel one last time before heading back.

It was the best time to catch the carousel too.

There was a group of people from the conference on the carousel and they had bought so many rides that we got to take a double long ride.

She was over the moon.

“This is so much fun!” She exclaimed.

She rode three different horses.

A camel.

A giraffe.

And was just a tiny bit disappointed that there were no unicorns.

I mean.

I can understand that.

Or dogs.

“Why no dogs, Carmen?” She asked me, searching through the ranks of animals on the poles ready to have a leg swung over and hopped onto.

“Good question love, I don’t know, but there’s a lion, want to try that?”

And she did.

And it was good.

God.

It was good.

It was good to ride the train back to her house, to push the stroller up the hill, exercise, yah, and to punch in the code to the garage, to fold down the stroller (now that I finally know the trick to collapsing it) and put on a kettle to boil for tea.

I took in the view from the back, it’s an entire wall of glass with a view of the downtown and to smile at my happiness at my job.

I really feel pretty fucking lucky.

I do.

So when my friend mentioned that tonight, “the last family,” it really hit me how far I have come and all the work I have done to be where I am.

Ten years or so ago a friend reached to me and said, “hey you need some extra cash?  I need help at the Burning Man offices on Wednesday nights, there’s a board meeting and I have class, can you come down and take care of J_________ for an hour and a half, two hours tops?”

I said yes.

And though I did not realize it then.

I never looked back.

I relieved my friend her nanny shift every Wednesday for months, occasionally helping the mom and dad she worked for too with a date night.

Then.

I nannied the regional event at the office and then the Christmas party.

And that’s where I met her.

My first love.

She was just six weeks old and I remember how my heart was smote and the thought came where there certainly had not been thought before, “I want to be her nanny.”

As luck would have it.

Fate.

God.

What have you.

I was asked to be that little baby girl’s temporary nanny.

Then.

Eventually I got to nanny for her and another family.

I had a key to the office and would often be there first before any one else got there.

I would lock up my bike in the bottom of the building, climb the stairs, turn on the lights in the kitchen and make a pot of coffee.

I would wander around and look at the art on the walls and the sculptures.

I would tidy up.

I would receive my charges and my day would start.

I could not fathom then the ten years that would follow.

I could not express to myself how amazing the job, and hard, so horrendously hard (when I made it so), but so fulfilling too, yes, to get paid for loving a child is such a gift.

Oh.

Sure.

Teething, tantrums, poopy diapers, potty training, running out of milk, late parents with car trouble, not getting paid enough, being treated like the help (most of my families did not do this, but I had a few that did, grateful I learned how to leave jobs that weren’t a good fit for ones that were), long ass hours.

And then.

The hugs.

The snuggles.

The dance parties.

Oh.

My.

The dance parties.

So many.

The warm soft, sweet bread baked smell of sleeping children.

I remember being in the nursery at the Burning Man offices and I was sitting in the dark with the door open.

I had two babies sleeping on me, one on my right shoulder, one in the lap against my right side, and the office dog, a little three-legged guy, Ralph, that would occasionally herd the toddlers around the office zocalo, nestled next to me, all curled up and asleep.

One of the office managers walked by and did a double take.

“Do you just ooze maternal?” He asked incredulous.

Maybe.

I don’t know what it is, but I am grateful for it and all the tender, sweet moments that I have had.

They are not done yet, but I see a change coming and it is with much gratitude that I reflected on my career, the unexpected career, never ever said to myself I want to be a nanny when I grow up, and all the joy it has brought me.

I am a very, very lucky girl.

I mean.

Really.

Who gets paid to ride carousels?

I do.

That’s who.

I do.

Luckiest girl in the world.

 

Stars in My Hair

March 2, 2017

And smiles on my face.

Yes.

I got a few more replacement hair geegaws in the mail yesterday.

So yes, that was me with a sequined star in my hair today.

I had a nice hair day, actually, I had a hella good hair day, happens now and again and it was nice to be out and about with it.

I had a special solo date with one of my charges today.

We took buses and trains.

We walked up and down hills.

And we had ice cream.

Well.

She had ice cream, I watched and smiled at her absolute delight in the ice-cream.

We saw dinosaur skeletons and penguins and giraffes and sharks and butterflies.

We went to the California Academy of Sciences today.

We also visited Claude, the albino alligator and we had lunch at the cafe.

It was just the sweetest day and it was with much pleasure that I recalled all the other times I have gotten to go to the Academy and visit it with my charges.

Today was a stellar day especially since it wasn’t a typical day to be at the Academy, there was no school holiday, there were no class field trips, there weren’t even that many tourists.

A few.

But mostly.

Nannies and charges, grandma and grandpa and a stray dad or two.

It was the emptiest I think I have ever seen the facility.

I have been there on a few days when it is horrendous.

Like.

Oh.

The day after Thanksgiving.

Fuck me.

That was intolerable.

Wall to wall.

Lines like no ones business, even the member’s only line was crazy.

My charge was so overwhelmed I think we stayed for all of a half hour.

I think I ended up taking him to a play ground in China Town that was near where I lived at the time in Nob Hill.

Anyway.

Today was smashing as far as there not being a lot of people and it was special to just be with the one little girl.

She and I get a long rather fantastically at this point and she trusts me and that feels good and sometimes I get the angry monkey, but mostly, I get the “I love you Carmen,” lady who will say it out of the blue, when I am least expecting and shine bright my whole entire day.

I also was just feeling beautiful today, light, clear, clean, lightened and getting to hang out with my little girl charge and her giraffe socks, literally, she was wearing yellow giraffe socks with brown spots and little knobby heads, was such a gift.

Today almost felt easy.

I know it won’t all the time, there are challenges, but I just felt good, at ease with myself and I know that has to do with changing how I am little bit by little bit and seeing what I need to see and letting go of what I can.

Tomorrow is another sunny day.

And another after that.

Then the rain again.

But.

I am feeling ok with it all.

The rain will help me get my paper done.

I have a mid-term that I have to write this weekend.

But I realized that I have a bit more free time than I thought and basically have an entire day open on Sunday.

Oh.

I’ll go to yoga, that’s my weekend warrior (pose) deal as of now with not being able to get to yoga during the week, but aside from that I have an empty Sunday.

I’ll crack out the paper and then be done for this next weekend of classes.

I think that is also why I have been feeling good, oh aside from having done all that inventory and moving on from a situation that was not going to be healthy for me to engage in, breaking an old engrained habit, that, I have done so much reading and homework already for the next weekend that I don’t have any reading to do at all this week.

I don’t know that I have a had semester with this much being done.

I have been far more proactive with my reading and papers.

I also, I realized today, haven’t had any male attention distracting me.

I haven’t had a boyfriend or been dating anyone all that much.

Oh.

I have my eye on someone, almost said something tonight, but his friend was so obviously ready to bounce and he wasn’t alone, it was just too awkward.

Hoping I’ll see him Friday and I think I am just going to say something, at least kill the fantasy and clear the path.

Meaning.

Find out if there is something there, I think there is, I’m certainly flirting enough, and if there’s not, if it’s just friends, then to clarify that.

Less to preoccupy my mind.

And hey.

If there is something there.

Well.

Heh.

That would be cool to find out.

Not that I feel any sort of urgency, which is a good thing, it’s just there when I see him.

There’s a little jazz in the air between us.

I like jazz.

Ha.

Life is nice.

You know what, it really is.

Super grateful for it all.

Sunshine.

Stars in my hair.

Little girls in giraffe socks.

Penguins in the water.

Blue morpho butterflies in the air.

Ice cream cones and naps on the train.

A smile on my face.

And a little kiss of music in my heart.

Thanks San Francisco.

It was a super sweet day.

Seriously.

 

Happiness

February 4, 2017

Is  a fucking rare ass steak.

Holy moly.

That was good.

I had a little celebratory dinner out and yes, I got my steak and ate it too.

So divine.

Then I get home and there are flowers.

Seriously feeling special.

So nice to celebrate and take a moment to appreciate the hard work that I have put into being where I am at.

I still have so much more to go, to do, to learn, to be, but how exciting is that?

That I can create and do and be more, that there is more room to grow, that there is more to come, in fact, the best is yet to come.

I firmly believe that.

And.

I can still have today, this moment, this nice time to reflect and let it sink in.

Really let it sink in.

I feel like I took a giant leap forward, but really, it was just doing the same things I have been taught to do for such a long time now.

Show up.

Be kind.

Be yourself.

Be honest.

Be open.

Be humble.

And listen.

And be.

It’s just not nearly as complicated as my brain wants to make it out to be.

It is not.

It is lovely and simple and sweet and that how I feel right now, loved and full of sweetness.

Daisies and roses.

Steak in my belly.

Hot tea in a mug.

Candles lit in my studio in-law.

Music in my heart.

A little Regina Spektor.

And it’s Friday.

And the school sent me my tax documents so I can finish my taxes this weekend.

I am busy, but busy in a manageable way.

Although when I spell it out, it does sound a little crazy.

Yoga in the morning, then a lady will be coming over and we’ll do some work, then I’ll have lunch, I’ll cook up a bunch of food for the week, I’m in class next weekend, a necessary evil to make an extra big batch of food, then write my paper for Trauma class.

After that a ride on the train to the BART.

BART to Oakland 19th street station.

A friend is picking me up from BART around 8 p.m. and we’re going to have dinner and catch up, I haven’t seen him since Burning Man.

Then off to a late night speaking engagement at 10p.m.

Back home via BART and the MUNI.

Sunday, more yoga, then I will be heading to see my tattoo artist at 1:30p.m. to get my star tattoo touched up.

After that I’ll have some opening in my schedule, I’ll probably do some reading for school, take my laptop with me and hit Maxfield’s in the Mission and hang out there until 6p.m.

Do the deal.

And then a double anniversary dinner with friends at Pakwan in the Mission.

There it is.

My weekend.

I’ll get my taxes done in there as well.

That actually won’t take too long as I already did  the majority of them, I just was waiting on one form and since that came in the mail I will be able to finish them within twenty minutes, half hour tops.

I could do that between yoga and meeting with my lady.

Yeah.

I know.

Busy town.

But.

Good busy.

Fulfilled busy.

Happy busy.

Useful busy.

I wont’ be taking my scooter anywhere though, rain all weekend long.

The rain boots will be out and I’ll be doing public transit.

And there will be down time.

Time to watch the rain fall from the streets and the wind ripple through the palm trees on Dolores street while I watch from the big plate-glass windows of Maxfield’s House of Caffeine.

Time to sit with friends and catch up.

Time.

There is more of it then I think or know.

The streets wet and slick, the foyer of a pretty building in the West Portal district.

The soft laughter of shared knowing and the openness of my heart tonight as I spoke out into the dark room, a string of Christmas lights glowing in front of me as I faced the people and shared my self, my story, my strength and the fact that I don’t do it alone.

I can’t do it alone.

I have you.

I have us.

I have fellowship and friends and family and loads of laughter.

So much laughter.

Today at work.

The six-year-old, soon to be seven, so soon, like the day after tomorrow, laughing and chasing me around the four-year old hugging me and dancing around in her tights and balancing on the toes of my nanny clogs as we pirouetted around the living room.

The rainbow sprinkles.

OH.

The rainbow sprinkles.

BiRite Ice Creamery on a Friday afternoon after school has let out.

Strawberry ice cream in a sugar cone with rainbow sprinkles.

How lovely to be a child, hazed out in the glory of ice cream and candied sprinkles.

We sat smooshed next to tables full of people blissed out on sugar and the reprieve from a sudden downpour of rain showers.

The train ride back to the house, the fat bottom clouds scudding across the sky threatening rain, but never quite delivering again.

There will be plenty tomorrow.

And the next day and the next and the next.

Lots of rain in the next week.

But that’s ok.

That’s life.

Stomping puddles in rain boots.

Joyfully popping open my umbrella tonight as we stepped from the restaurant, giddy and full, to walk the slippery shined streets and head home to the Outer Sunset.

Hugs and words to hang again soon.

Such a good life I have.

And I walk in and I can smell the flowers in my house.

So wonderful.

So loved.

So grateful.

Thank you all.

May I mirror back even a glimpse of the happiness I have for you.

The joy, happiness and freedom that I wish for you.

All the things.

All the things.

I wish them for you.

Took The Day

January 17, 2017

Off from school.

But not from work.

Monday is Monday and the work week has begun.

The monkeys had off today, Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

One of them had a play date with a school friend and so the oldest and I had our own solo adventure.

We went to the Exploratorium on Pier 15 down by Fisherman’s Wharf.

I have not actually been to it since it moved from the Palace of Fine Arts.

It was awesome fun.

The whole day was pretty much awesome fun.

We rode the bus, we took the train, we caught the F-Market trolley.

Riding the MUNI when I have no objective, no schedule, no rushing, is actually rather a pleasure.

The 24 line has extraordinary views.

The F-Market trolley is historic and just a sweet and awesome adventure, especially on a pretty day in San Francisco with a 6 1/2 year old boy.

We talked trains a lot today.

A lot.

We even got stuck on the F-Market for a while when  the bus in front of us ran out of gas.

I shit you not, on Market Street by the Powell cable car turn around.

The bus just crapped out.

Of course we were stuck, but there was so much to see and explore, most the people got off and went their ways.

Me and my charge stuck it out, explored the trolley car, talked to the driver and eventually caught another bus to The Ferry Building.

We walked around there, hit the loo, got him a banana and me a cafe au lait, then caught the next F-Market to pier 15 and spent literally the entire day there.

We had a blast.

We had lunch there, the cafeteria much better than I was expecting and the view, well fuck, it was basically the span of the Bay Bridge.

Really can’t complain about a window seat right by the water looking at a glorious piece of architecture.

My charge and I ran around all day and occasionally I would sit and just watch him play.

The sweetest was watching him engage with a group, three girls, of just barely pre-teen or tween girls who had still enough playful enthusiasm to be taken with my precocious charge and his directing the play.

I watched and it just melted my heart.

I had no need to do anything, not check my phone, or corral or coerce, I just sat and watched them play.

My charge had told me about his recent crushes on girls and he was in 7th Heaven.

I wasn’t going to ruin the moment for him at all.

The only interruption was taking a photograph that all the girls were happy to comply with.

Such sweetness and generosity of spirit and simple joy.

It was just such a nice afternoon and really nice to take a break from school work and reading and getting my syllabi in order and my practicum stuff.

That being said.

I have my next readings outlined for Couples Therapy and I have them packed in my bag for tomorrow.

I will get some reading done tomorrow, even if it’s just to pick up the kids from school.

I am really digging the getting the kids from school.

It’s nice to have some time out in the world by myself and getting paid for it.

I get to make phone calls and check messages and connect with people.

I feel more seen and I feel that although my schedule has been a little up in the air, and will be for a few months, I’m ok with it.

I’m getting 35 hours a week minimum and when the baby is a little older and mom and dad are back at work it’s going to be 40.

If I don’t work the 35, if they let me go early or ask for me to come in late, I still get paid a minimum 35 hours.

Thank God for regularity and for sustenance.

I am so grateful and I didn’t even have to ask about last week, they paid me for the 35 hours.

Even though I had to call out two days in my first two weeks of work.

So there’s that.

Grateful.

I have had my moments of having to assert myself around my pay and when I receive it and what I get paid for, or don’t get paid for, and it was just easy and light and not weird.

I just took the check and said thank you.

I asked when they want me tomorrow and I got my start time.

I may be taking the middle charge to dance class.

Our own little solo adventure.

And at some point this week, not sure when, I will be taking a short side trip over to The Liberation Foundation on Folsom and 18th and speaking with the director there about the practicum program.

I have an open house to go to next week Wednesday and I want to be on top of the next moves.

Today I just wanted to have it be a Monday at work and not worry about school.

I knew that the most important thing was to show up on time to work and show up for my job, then to show up and do the deal with my people at 6:30p.m. tonight, and that if that was all I did today, that would be alright.

Of course.

I did sneak a few other things in there, some grocery shopping, and some writing, aside from this blog I got a good four pages in this morning.

I wrote a lot about Paris.

I realized how excited I was to be planning a trip there again.

I also realized that I have never really been to Paris in May.

Nope.

Paris in Spring.

Divine.

The first time I went was in 2002 and it was August and it was hot and the city was pretty emptied out, a lot of stuff was closed and did I say it was hot.

Holy shit it was hot and I had not realized that it was going to be that warm and I had not packed great clothes.

The next time I went was in June, 2007.

That time I was sober and smarter and had a much better valise of clothing.

Then I moved there in November of 2012 and was there until May 2013.

But I left on May 1st.

So technically I didn’t really get to experience it.

The last time was last Christmas, 2015, and though it was far warmer than when I had lived there, it was cold and a bit dreary, as Paris tends to be in the winter.

I am so stoked that I will be there in May.

Soft warm nights.

Warm to hot days.

Flowers blooming.

All the trees in the gardens blossoming.

The smell of the city, not too hot yet, but warm and inviting.

Ooh la la.

I am looking forward.

It’s a few months away, but as I have come to see, the days they do go by when I am pre-occupied with school and work and doing the deal.

Paris will be here before I know it.

Until then.

One more evening of reprieve before I dive back into the books.

I do think it only just and fair to let myself have at least a full day off.

Even if it’s not from work.

It still feels like a break.

Time for more tea and a quick video before bed.

Good night.

Sleep tight.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Seriously.

I hear they have big teeth.

Shiver.

 

Bunny Slippers

December 24, 2016

And the Glee Christmas album.

Fuck you.

I had a hard day.

Shit.

I had a hard week, but today really took the cake so to speak, even though I told myself to not go into it having any expectations I still didn’t expect it to go the way it did.

Oh well.

It’s done.

Christmas by myself this year.

Sadness in my heart.

And.

Yes.

Thanks Santa.

A cold.

I have it off and on all week, I’ll have moments of being completely fine, then like last night, I woke myself up coughing.

Happy holidays!

And here’s some rain too.

Yay!

Fuck.

It’s actually kind of funny now that I’ve made it out the other side.

I’m home.

My Christmas tree is lit.

The house is clean.

I have my bunny slippers on and my feet are finally warming up, it rained on me on the way to work, despite the weather report showing no rain, it rained, and wet feet at work.

Yuck.

And work.

Well.

It was hard.

Hard to say goodbye.

Hard to believe it’s done.

And my time was wonky.

The mom and I had some miscommunication about my hours and I had down in my calendar totally different hours than the ones she was expecting me to work.

I mean totally off.

Even though I double checked all week-long, I guess I missed the memo and yup, my last day of work I was a half hour late.

Mortifying.

The only time I have ever been late.

My last fucking day.

And.

Instead of getting off at 1 p.m. when I thought I’d be getting off, she had me down until 3:30p.m.

There were groceries getting delivered and soup to be made.

Ugh.

I was aghast.

I mean.

I didn’t have plans per se, I was going to book myself a massage, but the place I was planning on going was closed, then I thought maybe I’ll girl treat myself and go to The Balm store on Valencia and buy some eye shadow and get a manicure.

Nope.

Instead I was making broccoli soup and roasted cauliflower.

It was not how I thought my last day would be.

The boys spent most of the day with the mom and I spent most of the day cooking and cleaning.

It was really hard guys.

I mean really awful hard.

We never had a moment alone.

I wasn’t able to take them out to the park or to the cafe or anything.

Thank God I had a lot of solo time with them earlier this week.

In retrospect, maybe it was for the best, as I burst into tears a few lines ago, I might have done that all over them.

“Carmen I hate you!” Sound of slamming door. “It’s your last day,” little sob of sadness, as the youngest did the first big cry of the day.

“Carmen, I love you, I didn’t mean that at all, I love you, cuddle me,” he demanded and crawled into my arms.

That was about the amount of cuddles that I got.

It was, like I said, an odd day.

I stood in the kitchen standing up in a corner, hiding, and crying over a pot of broccoli soup while the neighbors dropped in and the family opened Christmas presents.

The boys colored.

I cooked.

The boys did quiet time.

I cleaned.

I was sad, I am sad, but I also know how much the boys love me.

The little guy was nonplussed when I left at 3:30 p.m. today, the boys had a classmate whose parents were throwing a birthday party at the Roxie Theater and the movie was Star Wars.

The boys were dressed up.

The oldest had saved up all his allowance and had gotten a flight suit like the one Luke wore piloting his ship and he looked so handsome, it about broke my heart.

The little one was dressed up as a Storm trooper, raspy talking voice box mechanism and all.

“Tell Carmen goodbye,” his father prompted him, “she’s leaving, this is her last day.”

“She’ll visit,” he said, glibly, playing with his helmet.

“I will visit, I promise,” I kissed his forehead, “I love you, bunny, have fun at the party.”

The mom couldn’t say good-bye to me, she apologized and excused herself with tears in her eyes, “I understand,” I said as she walked back to the office, “I might be a little teary in here.  Thank you for everything, so much, thank you.”

I got my jacket on, grabbed my purse, I’d turned in my keys already, put my nanny clogs in my scooter basket liner, pulled on my scooter jacket and walked to the door.

“Let me give you a hug!” The dad jumped up, and then ugh, I did tear up, I wasn’t expecting that.

“Thank you for the last few years, you’ve been amazing, whoa, you’re like in armor!” He said and patted my jacket.

“Yup, safety first,” I smiled.

Then I looked at the older boy, he’d paused in the costuming and looked at me.

“You’re going to visit, right?” His eyes great big brown eyes saucer plates of sadness.

Ah, fuck, cue some more waterworks, I swear I am going to get through this blog, I am.

“Of course I’m going to visit, I promised you.” I looked at him, his eyes full of tears and my eyes too, he was too far away for me to hug and maybe that was alright, it has to be, it’s what happened, “I love you, I will always be in your life, I promise.”

I blew him a kiss and walked out the door.

I made it three doors down then crumpled up and cried for a minute.

Then I got on my scooter and went to the post office.

Santa had tried to get the post office to deliver me a package yesterday, as I don’t have a chimney for him to descend, but the postal person failed to get it through the gate.

So off to the post office.

Nine people in line and two grumpy, tired, over worked workers.

“What do you mean it’s too late to get it there overnight?” A woman screamed at one of them.

High, holy, hell, this package better be fucking worth the ninth circle of hell I just descended into.

Then I realized.

I’m done.

There’s no job to go to, no plane to catch, since I cancelled my travel plans, all I had to do was stand grateful in line that I had already sent my packages and cards and that I was a lucky girl to be getting packages.

Lucky indeed.

Turns out Santa sent me some end of the season persimmons.

THANK YOU SANTA!

So nice.

Christmas persimmons.

See nothing’s wrong.

In fact, I should wrap this up, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” is playing, my bunny slippers are warming my feet, and the tears are drying on my face.

Happy Holidays.

I hope where ever you are you know how loved you are.

Seriously.

You.

Are.

So.

Loved.

Carmen, Let’s Not

December 22, 2016

Talk about it.

“It makes me sad to think about it,” he sighed and leaned into me.

I had just chased him down from the kitchen to the dining room into the living room where we collapsed on the leather couch by the Christmas tree.

He was full of wiggles and silliness, but underneath was far more sorrowful than I had even realized.

“The Santa in the van bag,” he said looking at the back of the Christmas tree, “that’s from you, isn’t it.”

“Yes, doll, it is, but you have to wait until Christmas day, but yes you guessed right, there’s a present in that bag for you and one for your brother,” I said and stroked his hair.

“Are you really going to be done on Friday,” he asked me.

“Yes, my sweet boy, I am, that is my last day,” I answered him, my heart swelling up.

I have said many good byes over the years to my charges, but most of them, I think, I could be wrong, but I think, didn’t realize that I was saying goodbye for good. I have not had the experience of being with older kids, older, ha, 6.5 years old and 4.5 years old, still so sweet and young (although completely dastardly about the potty talk, my God, little boys like to talk about poo, I had an idea, but shit, hahahahaha, pun intended, they do!) and so tender, but so much more cognizant of what is happening to them and around them.

“Carmen, I don’t want to talk about it, it just makes me sad to think about it, I’m going to cry when you leave,” he said looking at the Christmas tree and holding my hand.

OH MY GOD.

Child, you are breaking my heart.

I seriously do not know how I wasn’t a slobbering mess on the couch.

I mean.

Oof.

So much love and bitter sweetness, this saying goodbye.

I won’t lie, there’s also a part of me that is ready for the next adventure, I am, but I am also having all the feels.

Every damn one of them.

I have gotten, with both boys, this past week, to have quiet moments with each of them that have just blown my heart to smithereens.

Reading and cuddle time with the littlest and though has officially phased out of the nap stage, he still gets awful cozy around quiet time and just wants to cuddle on my lap and read stories.

I am super grateful that I have had this last week with them, pretty uninterrupted with other jobs, school, or life stuff.

Oh.

Life stuff is still happening, but I have gotten to work full-time hours with the boys, breakfast to dinner the last three days and though occasionally a goofy handful, there’s not really been tempter tantrums or drama.

Knock on wood.

Tomorrow and Friday I will have short days with them.

Tomorrow I go in early and I’m just edging into up past my bed time with my early start, but I had to write, not having written last night.

My blog got laid.

Ahem.

And so I had to write tonight.

I don’t like taking too much time off from it, and though the lack of sleep my affect me a bit, I’ll be out early as well.

The mom is taking the boys to A Charlie Brown Christmas matinée at the San Francisco Symphony.

I”ll do breakfast, a dash out to the park, lunch, baths probably and then get the boys dressed up in their finest.

Their finest is pretty fucking cute too.

Little velvet blazers.

Ugh.

Adorable.

And, AND, bow ties.

I mean.

Seriously, the cute factor is off the hook.

So I’ll be out by 1:30 p.m.

I have a meeting with my person and then a bit of free time before doing the deal.

I’m thinking that once I finish up with my person I will head over to Folsom and 14th, right around the corner from Rintaro.

I’m not going to go eat high-end Japanese street food, although there’s always  a desire to eat good like that all the time, it’s pretty outside the box as far as what I want to drop money wise on food.

No.

I’m not going to be grabbing a bite.

Rather.

I discovered a new Thai Massage place that had just opened and it had a bunch of grand opening specials listed on the chalk board outside the store front.

Including a free ten minute hot/dry sauna.

Oh yes, I’d like that please and thank you.

I’m thinking that I’ll book myself a massage for Friday after my last day with the boys.

I’m getting out early on Friday as well.

I think by 1 p.m.

The boys and I will do breakfast, maybe go to the park, but secretly I think I will take them to Ritual Coffee and get a last latte with them and get them little steamed milks or hot chocolates and we’ll sit on the big carved ship bench parklet in front of the cafe and play pirates.

Then the house, one last lunch with my monkeys and then they, lucky boys, are going to a private showing of Star Wars at the Roxie Theater in the Mission with a friend and classmate whose mum rented the theater for his birthday.

Nice birthday party if you can get it.

Heh.

I was, at first, a little upset that our last day was going to be cut short.

Then.

I had a change in perspective and got really grateful.

What better way to leave?

On a happy note, saying goodbye may make the boys a little sad, but hey, they’ll be heading shortly thereafter to Star Wars on the big screen.

That should provide a little distraction.

And.

It’s not a final goodbye, they will be in my lives, probably more so than many of my past charges, as the new family I work for attends their school.

I will get to see them and hug them and watch them grow bigger.

“You’ll visit us though, right?”  He asked, worriedly taking my hand, “please visit us, as much as you can.”

Oh bunny.

“Yes, as much as I can, I won’t be leaving your life, I promise,” I hugged him and though I teared up, I did not cry.

Saved that up for right now.

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

That I shall say goodnight.

Till it be morrow.


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