Posts Tagged ‘nanny life’

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.

 

What A Day

June 30, 2017

A good day.

But quite the day.

A full day.

For sure.

Into work, lots of loving on the charges, family friend visit, lots of kids running around, and then quiet, a reprieve, unexpected in the middle of the day.

Snuggles and nap time with the baby and then the family and their friends went out to lunch and I had nearly an hour to myself.

It was so nice.

I haven’t had that since school has gotten out.

I ate a slow, relaxed lunch.

I looked at the skyline from the back porch, I made a few phone calls and connected with a girlfriend I haven’t seen since January, we made tentative plans to get together when the family I nanny for is on vacation.

So nice to reconnect.

I was to do the camp pick up for the middle child and I enjoyed the hell out of riding the MUNI, not having any charges, and then taking a nice quiet walk to BiRite, picking up snacks for my charge and a few things for the house.

Pick up at school was great.

My charge and I ate cherries and apricots and talked about sunshine and being nice, “I’m going to tell mom that I was kinda nice to you today,” she said and squeezed my hand tight.

I love her so much.

She is always the best.

Even when she is a handful of fierce fiery little girl.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

She has a voice and I really love how her parents let her have that voice.

I was shushed often.

There was a lot of don’t speak unless spoken to in my home.

I didn’t really know that children could engage and interact and have conversations with their parents.

It was sort of, get out-of-the-way and be quiet or go outside and leave me alone.

I’m ok with that.

I developed a big case of the curiosity at a very young age and a desire to explore, seek, find, and experience whatever I could.

I had, and still do have a great big imagination.

I don’t really escape into fantasy anymore, life is real and reality is so much more interesting, but for a while, when I was young, fantasy was my hard-core go to.

And I was, and am, dare I say it, creative.

I concocted lots of games, did relay races with kids in the neighborhood, made up my own version of Kick the Can, Ghost in the Graveyard, Ding Dong Ditch, and a plethora of other things.

The summer I watched the Iron Man triathlon on television and became absolutely mesmerized in the event.

I staged a mini Iron Man, I called, aptly, Iron Kids.

There was a run around the apartment complex, followed by a bicycle race.

I couldn’t do the swimming in the ocean part, seeing as how we were in Wisconsin and the nearest pool was miles away, but I am sure I improvised something.

It might have been running in and out of all the wading pools in the courtyard.

I found my voice in motion and then again in books and escaping to the library.

I was always reading.

Always.

I would hide under my blankets at night with a flashlight and read.

I got yelled at a lot to do that.

Now.

I wonder, would a parent yell at a kid for reading past bedtime?

Perhaps using their phone and texting or being active on social media, but reading?

I think, probably not.

Ooh.

I got a new book in the mail.

Such a gift.

To get a book.

That is not for school.

I look forward to reading it.

I don’t have much time now, but it is something that I can flip through and I will be able to enjoy it when I am off from the family in July.

I am still trying to suss out if I’m going to travel.

One of my clients who I see on Thursdays will be gone for vacation and his times overlap mine and the availability I have to travel.

Maybe there’s a long weekend in my near future.

I am open to all possibilities.

And I’m super psyched.

Tomorrow is Friday!

I have a client consult after work.

I will have a long day still.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to sneak in a little time with my fellows, if I get out of work fast enough, and then I’ll have a client at 7:30 p.m.

It’s a consult, so there’s the possibility it may only go a half hour.

So if I don’t get out of work in time I’ll see about doing the deal after seeing the consult.

Then the weekend.

Which is full, since I still have to go to my Group Supervision.

But.

I’ll have some pockets of time.

I’ll do yoga in the morning both Saturday and Sunday.

I desperately need a mani/pedi/eyebrow waxing session.

And I do need to do grocery shopping, cooking, and errands.

Plus meeting with a lady Sunday afternoon.

And still.

There will be time.

There will be time to stop and breathe and love.

And maybe.

Yes.

Read a little for pleasure.

Such a sexy thing.

Oh life.

It is so.

So.

So.

Good.

That Was A Session

June 21, 2017

I’m a therapist.

It was so clear.

It was so obvious.

It was like getting whacked over the head.

You are a therapist.

I was in it with my client and although it was just a second session I could feel it happening, I could feel the alliance happening and who knows where it will go, but it’s a start.

I have clients.

Two this week.

Three next week.

And so it builds.

I was also a space cadet today.

I left my bag with my nanny shoes at work.

And when I realized I had already been on my way to the internship to see my client and I did not want to risk losing time to turn around and go back.

When I finished with the session I couldn’t remember if I had actually carried out the bag with me, having then left it on the sidewalk outside of my job.

Or.

If I had left it inside the house.

I called and text my boss but got no response.

Then I had a horrible vision of my bag, with my very expensive Dansko walking shoes, on the sidewalk and it getting scooped up by an entrepreneurial type in the neighborhood.

I debated going home, but I needed the piece of mind more than the extra few minutes I would have gotten at home.

So I zipped over to work and sure enough it was at the house, inside, thank God.

I thanked the dad, hopped back on my scooter and zoomed home.

It was a fast ride, the rush traffic having dissipated and in the end I was only home five minutes, maybe seven, past when I had predicted I’d be walking in.

It’s nice to be home.

I love my little studio.

Yes.

I would love to have more space.

I surely would.

However.

In this time in my life I am willing to be in a little space that holds me so well and is pretty and full of color and things to look upon that make me happy.

Speaking of which.

I expect to hear back soon from Cheap Pete’s.

The framing shop I took my two Paris prints to.

One a Marilyn Monroe by Phillip Hausman I got at the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the other a vintage Scandal sheet cover from a vendor at Clingancourt.

I am looking forward to adding them to my collection.

Although, truth be told, I don’t have much wall space left at all.

I have an idea to rearrange a few things and move around a couple of pieces and I think they will fit just fine.

And.

In other news.

I got my financial aid disbursement.

Hurrah!

So very happy.

I put half of it in savings immediately.

I will be using that money for my therapy costs as I move through my school program.

I will also be purchasing some new clothes for the doing of therapy.

I have a small wardrobe, but I realized that I need to expand a little, a few more pieces of professional clothing that I can interchange with my current wardrobe.

I was talking to my therapist this morning.

Yes.

The therapist has a therapist.

Duh.

Anyway.

Just that it’s nice having a change-up in my wardrobe and it helps me to be in the mindset.

Which is how I forgot my nanny shoes at work.

I took them off to put on my “therapist” shoes.

My new Fluevogs.

They are funky, but not too crazy and I do feel like someone else when I wear them.

It feels important to switch gears from nanny to therapist.

Even if the client would probably be completely happy with whatever I am wearing, well, perhaps, but really, it feels right for me.

It’s like pushing a reset button.

I carry myself different and I put on a different hat.

Or pair of shoes.

If the shoe fits.

Fucking wear that shit.

And I have totally lost my train of thought.

I am tired and just did a Facetime chat with a friend who’s been trying to catch up with me for a couple of weeks.

I am just starting to take clients, I can’t imagine how things are going to look when I’m back in school.

I probably won’t know what hit me.

But.

My god.

I am so grateful that I have started my internship now.

If I had to handle the training and the clients and the newness of it and juggle a full load of fall semester.

Um.

No.

Super grateful to have this time to get adjusted.

I also know that I won’t have to work as many hours.

Right now I’m working 40-41 hours a week as a nanny.

When school is in I’ll go back down to 35 and that will help.

Shit.

That’s five clients right there.

Add the three I have now and I could reasonably be doing the same amount of work that I am carrying now.

Of course.

It will be different.

I will also have to carry a full-time grad school load.

With all the reading and writing that entails.

Shh.

I tell myself.

Hush for now.

Don’t spoil the moment.

I had a good day.

I was a good nanny.

My charges loved on me, I got to hold the baby for a few hours while it slept, I made a dinner that the entire family raved about (pancetta spaghetti carbonara with julienned sugar snap peas, pan sautéed asparagus with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, hearts of romaine salad with heirloom tomatoes, avocado, a soft-boiled wild hen egg and sprouted sunflower seeds), “Carmen, you are a REALLY good cook,” said the seven year old.

Thanks sugar.

I do love cooking for those I care about.

And.

I was a therapist.

A damned good one at that.

I think I have earned my cup of tea.

With that.

I call it a night.

Sleep well my friends.

Sleep well.

 

What The Fuck

April 13, 2017

Are you doing to yourself, kid?

I literally had a Cher from Moonstruck, “SNAP OUT OF IT” moment this morning.

I got up with my alarm, grateful to see that the rain was clearing and that I would be able to ride my scooter to work.

Ah work, back to work, it’s been a minute, is it time to go back already?

Yes, dear, glad you enjoyed your days off, time to hit it again.

I made a nice breakfast and had some coffee and I was just about to settle into some writing when I had this great idea to check the school website and find out about summer classes.

Like which ones I should register for, what I need to have to get to the next step, you know, keep progressing.

Note to self, as it was brought up by a dear friend in the cohort, “you’re planning on taking summer school and practicum?!”

Um.

I was.

Sort of.

I mean.

I had no idea what compelled me, fear, oh, yeah, fear, I forgot, hahahaha, to go online today and blow almost all my morning writing time on trying to figure it out.

Figure it out never works for me, and yet, there I was neck-deep into the figuring it out.

Getting more and more over my head, and without even realizing it, panicked.

Why did I take the last two days off, I should have been dealing with this, I don’t know what to do, I’m fucked, the system is fucked, why hasn’t my advisor responded to my e-mail, why is the registrar so stupid, what is wrong with the….

Whoa girl.

Back the fuck up.

I sent a friend a text asking about the summer courses, she’s always so on top of it, and I got a lot of information back, none of which I was able to assimilate or understand and when I read one of the texts I just about lost it, there was too much, it was too much, I can’t do this.

Do what?

Self-inflicted idiocy, getting myself all worked up over nothing.

I could feel the fear rising in my body and getting stuck at the top of my chest and trying to ride up into my throat.

Very grateful I caught it when I did.

Stop.

Slow down.

Breathe.

Look around.

You are sober, you’re dressed in nice clothes, they are clean, you just ate breakfast, you have coffee, lunch is packed, coffee for work is packed, your hair is done, you have makeup on, the scooter is ready to go.

You are fine.

Breathe.

I started to ignore texts that were still incoming from a number of places.

I don’t have to engage if I don’t have the space.

Then I looked at the time.

Shit.

I had wasted 45 minutes of my precious morning routine on this fuckery.

I hopped up, did the dishes, took out the trash, organized my things, turned my phone to silent and sat and wrote.

Rent is paid.

My phone bill is paid.

I am ok.

I paid for my scooter insurance for another six months.

I have paid for my Healthy SF for the next three months.

I am fine.

I am enough.

It is enough.

I have my practicum placement.

I have a therapist.

I have supervisors.

I don’t need to know what electives I could take for summer.

I can take them in the fucking fall.

If I wasn’t doing the internship I would have the god damn summer off from school.

So relax.

You are ok.

All I had to do, all I have to do, I told myself, was show up to work alive and on time, stay sober and show up tonight at my commitment.

Oh.

And maybe put some gas in the scooter.

I could do that.

When I got to work I was relaxed, had calmed down, and was able to respond to a message from a friend who is going to Paris in May with his wife and two boys about some friends I have in Paris and where he could meet them.

It was nice to stop, get out of my head, and be of service to someone else.

And Paris.

Oh yeah.

That.

You’re going to Paris, doll, in a few weeks, you have a place to stay, you will see friends, there are museums to go to, streets to walk, Metro’s to ride, postcards to write.

I was pretty back to myself and in my body by the time I got to work, which was good, it was full tilt boogie, the kids had missed me, and truth be told, I them, and I got tackled upon my entrance.

“CARMEN! I missed you! I love you! I’m so glad you’re here!”

“Tag! You’re it!”

And it was on.

It was on all day.

The cleaners came.

I made dinner.

I made dessert.

I washed laundry, folded laundry, put laundry away.

I played soccer, Mother May I, tag, hide and seek, good dog/bad dog (the four-year olds made up game), cops and robbers.

And last but not least.

I played lots of snuggles and thank God.

I got to play stay at the house and watch the four-year old nap while the older boy went to the dentist.

I played Debussy’s Clair de Lune and folded towels and baby blankets.

I returned the texts and messages I had to return and I chatted with a few friends.

I also acknowledged that I did accomplish some stuff today in regards to school, even if it wasn’t what I had set out to do, I did discover that the school had posted all the weekend dates for the next Fall and Spring semesters.

That was surreal.

To go through the next year and plug-in those dates into my calendar, ending with the last weekend in May 2018, which will be my last weekend before graduating.

Not that I even know when the ceremony will be.

But I will be there.

Summer school or not, the work will get done.

I also finally managed to set up the forwarding on my school e-mail, they just switched over to a new system, so that all school e-mails are sent to my Gmail account.

That was a big deal.

Just taking all the little, teeny tiny steps to get there.

And breathing.

Pausing.

Responding.

Not reacting.

When the fear sets in.

I see you fear, you just want me to be to be aware of all the pitfalls that might befall me.

Thing is though.

Fear is the pitfall.

Fear is the trap.

Faith is my answer.

And it was my spiritual principle.

God has not brought me this far to drop my on my ass.

I am taken care of.

I am.

Seriously.

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.

 

 

Kindness

March 10, 2017

I was blown away by a conversation I had with my boss today.

It started out as a bit of a joke around how I didn’t strike yesterday for International Hooha day yesterday.

That’s Women’s Day for you.

But you know what I mean.

I told her it just didn’t feel right to strike on my job when I work for a mom who runs her own business and has three children.

We joked a bit and the conversation turned to family and I found myself sharing things with her that I have not shared with previous employers.

I found myself sharing as though she were my friend.

Cautiously.

Yes.

I mean I needn’t go into gory details.

But.

I did tell her a bit more about my family.

Specifically my dad.

Which I found myself quietly feeling out the words to explain the relationship and also, and here I was really surprised by my openness, that I was thinking about going and seeing him this July when the family is traveling in Europe.

They will be gone for three weeks.

And.

I was just told tonight as I was leaving that they have the dates for their trip and also the dates for a work trip the dad will be taking at the end of this month.

I am going to help out while he is away for a week.

I’m not sure exactly what that will look like, but I will be helping out more.

I also suspect that I won’t mind at all.

She, the mom, is really becoming my friend and it’s a different relationship with a boss than I have had.

Granted.

I have had some amazing.

AMAZING.

Parents that I have gotten to work with.

Let me repeat that.

Amazing.

I am really lucky to call the majority of them my friends.

But I would also say that it was more after the fact than during the beginning of the work relationship.

I just find myself so at ease with her and I feel like I am a different person than the nanny I was when I first started.

I am also much more sure of myself and I am very aware of how good I am.

Which is not ego, but humility.

It would be false pride to belittle what I do or to downplay it.

“I could not do what you do,” my person told me last Saturday, “you really do astound me with how good you are, I still remember how you just pulled out a bag of snacks that one time I ran into you with the boys.”

She recounted a time years back when I was first began doing recovery work with her and I had a nanny gig at the time in Cole Valley.

I ran into her and some fellows and I had one of my charges with me and I had snacks and diapers and back up clothes and milk and wet wipes and god only knows what else, probably a teething ring or three and bags to put wet clothes in and hand disinfectant and the kitchen sink and…

She remembers, though and recounted it, not for the first time, with awe, and I don’t think anything of it, that’s just how I roll, prepared.

There used to be a time though when I was a lot more uncertain of myself and my worth.

I don’t think I was ever uncertain of my abilities, just not of my worth.

I  remember fondly an “intervention” some friends of mine did at Samovar Tea Lounge after I had just moved back from Paris.

It was a combination welcome home and you’re amazing and should be making more money at your job and we want to help you do that.

Eventually all that peer support sunk in and I got the picture.

I started to advocate more for myself and I started to get better jobs.

And now.

Well.

It may really be the best nanny gig I have.

Health insurance.

Paid vacation.

Sick leave.

Invitations to imbibe of their food, nice food, organic food, really nice procured stuff.

I drink nice tea and have all the coffee I could possibly want.

I get to be out and about with my charges.

I have a credit card in my name.

Of course, I can’t get cash with it and they are fully aware of what I use it for, but it’s so handy, I pick up dry cleaning, I use the card, I run to Whole Foods or Rainbow, ditto, I have it to put extra money on the Clipper card (the MUNI pass for the trains), or to take my charges to Dolores Park Cafe for mini pizza.

I have the dream nanny job.

And.

I LOVE my boss.

I feel appreciated, understood, and we talk.

Like we have conversations about the world, the state of the nation under the current administration, art, Paris, Burning Man, San Francisco, homelessness, the mayor, rent and rent control, health insurance, school stuff.

I mean.

I have shared a lot.

So today it was not new exactly, it was just sharing on a slightly deeper level and twice I found myself tearing up in empathy for her kindness and good heartedness and how she just looked at me with her big blue/green eyes and it seemed as though she got it.

She got me.

In fact.

I felt like I was in the field with her.

The field is a psychology term that I liken to be in a therapy session.

There is intuition there and connection and things are seen from both sides, the therapist and the client.

There is often a kind of subconscious connection and things pop up and out and it happened today.

I thought something as she handed me the baby and then she said exactly what I was thinking.

I have found things like that happen to me when I am in tune with another, but I don’t know that it has ever happened with an employer, although as soon as I write that I have curiosity about that statement.

Regardless

It happened.

We connected.

It was a moment of awe that I got to take in and I was just super grateful for her.

And for the little lady bug who tonight when I was making dinner stopped me, looked up, and said, “Carmen I love you, and Carmen,” she said and paused almost shyly, “Carmen, you’re beautiful.”

I stopped stirring the pot and looked at her, this little fairy elven woods creature with big saucer blue eyes and the fey downy blonde eyebrows on her face rose as her eyes widened, and she looked up at me, “you want to hug me now don’t you?”

“Yes,” I do, F__________.”

“Ok.”

I put the wooden spoon down and gathered her up and hugged her.

“I love you too.”

And I do.

Very.

Very.

Very much.

I am such a lucky girl.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And.

I’m also a school girl.

Tomorrow is my first day back to school.

So.

Off to bed I go.

See you on the flip.

Sweet dreams my loves.

Sweet dreams.

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.

 


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