Posts Tagged ‘nannying’

Packed!

August 21, 2017

I’m ready for Burning Man.

All I have to do is get through the week.

And what a week it’s going to be.

Oof.

I have supervision tomorrow morning in Hayes Valley.

Then work, nannying, up in Glen Park.

I might, depending on what is going on with my supervisor and some paperwork, have to spin by my school and drop off a practicum trainee review.

I have seen the review and tomorrow we will be discussing it.

I’m not super excited to tell you the truth.

It wasn’t as great a review as my other supervisor, but then again, this supervisor is tough and smart and I doubt he gives very high marks to anyone he supervises.

I did good.

Don’t get me wrong.

Although I didn’t like his additional comments about how my schedule, school full-time, working full time, the practicum hours at the internship, how I’m working six days a week and have to be careful to not get overloaded and to take time to recharge.

Sigh.

I did a lot of recharging today.

And.

I also did a lot of work.

Laundry, cooking–made a pot roast (god damn was that a great supper, I marinated it over night in olive oil, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, adobo, thyme; then roasted it super slow and low for almost three and a half hours, I also soaked it down with homemade chicken stock to keep it moist while it was cooking and surrounded it by baby potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips.  I ate a nice juicy slice of it for dinner over some brown rice and put a pat of butter on it and some salt, because salt, and my fucking god, heaven), went to yoga, cleaned my house, and yeah.

Packed for Burning Man.

Four large bins, one medium bin, got my cooler ready to load up, but I won’t load it until the day I head out, which is next Sunday.

I’ll be keeping everything in the freezer until the very last moment.

My four man tent, a folding chair, and my parasol.

Ta da!

I’m pretty good at the packing for the desert trip, it’s just a matter of getting my bins sorted and having laundry done.

It used to be that my wardrobe was pretty small and basically I was wearing whatever I owned out on the playa.

A little time and a little bit of purchases here and there and I have slowly acquired a playa set of clothes, although a good bit of my wardrobe still does hop into a bin, it’s not my entire closet.

And there are some things that I absolutely won’t wear out there, which is relatively new in the last couple of years, I would just dump everything I had in my bins and empty my closet.

I do need to get a pair of sunglasses, some good aviators, I couldn’t find my sunglasses and then I realized, oh yeah, stupid, paid way too much for a set of Oliver Peeples prescription sunglasses and lost them at school last semester.

Ugh.

So.

Yeah, that’s about all I have to purchase for the trip, that and the things that will wait until I get out-of-town, like ice and water, that I’ll pick up in Reno at the 24 hour SafeWay.

My ride is coming to pick me up at 1 p.m. next Sunday.

The drive takes about 8-9 hours.

I figure we’ll land on playa around midnight–the stop in Reno and any other pit stops or gassing up that needs to be done.

My ticket and the vehicle pass are at Will Call.

I was gifted a low-income ticket from the organization, it’s still $198 and the vehicle pass is $80, but it’s cheaper than the regular ticket, and I got a ticket, there’s always so many people who can’t seem to get a ticket since the event started selling out years ago.

I remember very well the first time that happened, I was nannying for the head of Media Mecca and there was a great kind of awed hush that came over her when the announcement was made over the radio channel.

It was astounding to think they sold out.

Used to be you could just buy a ticket when you got there.

You could buy a ticket at Rainbow Grocery for fucks sake.

Now it’s a big deal, it’s a lotto, they’re more expensive, they are much harder to get.

But.

Well, I keep getting lucky, I keep getting to go.

I get to keep wearing big flowers in my hair and pretty dresses and my cowboy boots and crinolines.

I don’t show much skin out there per se, sure, my bra top will show, but I always wear a bra, I’m not a run around the desert naked kind of gal.

I like a tan, but not that much.

No.

I wear gingham dresses and crinolines, or fun tights and frilly panties and loose cotton tops.

At night I wear leggings and jean shorts, and layers, I have a cheetah print jacket with a pink silk lining that I only wear at Burning Man.

I have my goggles.

And I have my box of makeup.

Really.

What I like to do is wear lots of geegaws up in my hair and put on pretty makeup.

Throw in a crinoline and my cowboy boots and that’s it.

Oh, yeah, and a few bandanas, always, one around my wrist and sometimes one around my the top of my boot, it’s nice to have a spare for the dust that kicks up.

And like that.

My day is just about done.

I need to get the last of the laundry out of the dryer and wrap up a few loose ends here at the house.

Then my full week, supervision, work, clients, therapy, and let me not forget my first weekend of classes.

Whew.

It’s going to be busy.

But good.

I know my week will be very good and I will have my moments, my quiet, sweet moments in my little home by the sea to ponder how good I have it and how much I am loved.

Luckiest girl in the world.

And packed for Burning Man!

Fuck yeah.

Advertisements

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.

 

Wanted Woman

May 27, 2017

It’s nice to be wanted.

It really is.

It’s nice to be pursued.

It’s nice to be courted.

But.

To a point.

Today I was asked to nanny by four different people.

Four.

Three separate families apart from the one I work for, and all from the same spot.

I was a little overwhelmed by it, I was also very tentative about saying anything about my availability.

What availability?

I mean.

Yikes.

One mom who asked has asked before and it has always felt a little like I was getting manipulated into doing something even though I was fairly closed mouth about being able to do anything, I also feel like I must be circumspect and respect that the families are all after one thing, that which will work well for them and their children.

And I know from over a decade of being a nanny that it’s hard to find a good fit for your child, I am asked for referrals all the time.

All the time.

It takes a lot of showing up to be good.

And.

I have a lot to give, but let’s be honest.

There is only so much Carmen-nanny to go around.

Word has gotten out that my family will be gone for a few weeks in July and that I might be helping out my previous family.

And it’s true.

My current family will be leaving for a few weeks, but my internship won’t be going anywhere.

And yes.

I did tell my previous family I would love to help them out with a date night, I miss the boys and it would be sweet to have a night with them.

But.

I am in no place to suddenly pick up a lot of hours.

I will say, though, it is flattering.

I also got to see the another family I briefly worked for end of last year and get a lot of hugs and how are you’s and catch up.

Part of me wants to say yes, of course I will help, I love your kids, I like you.

But.

I love me to.

And Carmen has needs.

I want to make sure my needs are getting met before I go off and make promises to help when I will just get resentful.

No.

I don’t want my summer to be a resentful making time.

I would rather do a lot of yoga, hang out with friends, go on dates, get some extra hours in at my internship and maybe take a long weekend somewhere.

Maybe not even all that far away.

Somewhere by the sea.

Somewhere closer by then Paris.

Somewhere I just lay around in a big hotel bed for a weekend.

I still have my flight voucher for $480 to use before October.

And.

I just had a moment today, not a big one, but a kind of soft warning bell, oh hey, don’t forget, you’re also going to Burning Man and I haven’t done any prep around that.

I still need to replace my playa bike.

I need to find a ride there and back as well.

I have some supplies that I need to replace, a battery charged air pump for my blow up mattress, and of course since I’m not working at all this event I will need to probably procure another cooler for a longer run on my food and figure out a shade structure.

I didn’t have a shade structure last year, I figured, four days in and out, I’ll deal, but this year I’ll be there for the full event and I want to be in a nice space for myself.

Also.

Since school starts for me the weekend prior to Burning Man starting, literally my fall school semester will start and I will leave class and head straight to the playa.

That night.

If not that afternoon.

Depending on who I ride with.

Anyone want to give me a ride to Burning Man this year?

Yeah, seriously, hit me up.

I suppose I will put my name on the ride share board again and see if that pans anything out.

I don’t have to know all the details yet, but there’s planning that needs to be done for that and May is almost over, June will be really rolling into being at my internship and taking clients and July, the family is gone for three weeks.

That three weeks feels like the golden times.

I could not work at all.

I am getting paid for the time the family is away.

I could just do my internship and hide from all forms of nannying.

I don’t want to let myself get bogged down in helping out too many people.

Even if all I do is yoga and take long walks on the beach, just some good solid self-care.

Ah.

I am done with the worrying.

Tomorrow has a lot going on and I want to get up early and go to yoga, stretch out as much as possible and get in my body, meeting with my person at Tart to Tart, grocery shopping–the cupboards are pretty bare, and a dentist appointment to deal with before I try to figure out what July looks like.

I have today.

I got through the week, the jet lag seems to have faded off.

I got to see some friends and fellows tonight.

I had a great day at work.

I was pursued and though I couldn’t respond in the manner that was being asked after, I gave no promises as to my availability, only confirmed that the family will be out for a few weeks in July, I could thank those that asked after me.

And.

I can appreciate that I am appreciated.

That people want me to work for them.

That I am wanted is a gift.

A gift that I do not take lightly.

So with much gratitude.

I bid adieu to Friday and hello to my three-day weekend!

I am so ready for it.

Seriously.

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.

 

My Bunny Slipper

January 19, 2017

Game is on hard tonight.

I mean.

It’s happening.

And so too, the softest, fuzziest, warmest socks I could pull out of the drawer.

I changed socks three times today.

Will this be the year that I finally buy rain boots?

It might.

Even if it’s just in preparation for the next rainy season.

Especially if I should be staying with my current family, which I plan on doing so, I do like them quite a bit.

I’m out a lot in the elements, I was much of today, going to school pick up, coming home from school with my charge, then again tonight after work, it was wicked.

I was going to hire a car and then the pool cost was over $20 and I was like, fuck that, no, I’ll wait on the train.

And the train was fine, but I got wet again, even with my umbrella and many layers, not having rain boots, my shoes did get wet and when that happens and the cold toes, yikes it takes forever to get warmed back up.

Working on it.

Like I said, the bunny slippers are out in full force and that helps, plus, lighting up all the candles in the house and yes, I just made a nice fresh, hot cup of tea.

Thank God for tea.

I remember when I eschewed it, now I carry the shit with me.

I laughed today when I was packing up my personal bag for work, I am discovering that I need to re-think my bag plan a little, carrying a purse is oh, so very adult, but not really handy I’m finding when I’m out and about a lot in the rain with the charges and taking trains and carrying extra umbrellas and rain jackets and little miniature pack backs and snacks and water and shit.

I’m like a walking snack factory.

My really nice, for me, Hobo purse, is getting beat the fuck up.

So, I decided to switch it out and use one of my messenger bags.

And I discovered a secret cache of tea bags in one of the pockets.

“That’s where that went!” I exclaimed and chuckled.

Now if only I can figure out where I lost my expensive prescription sunglasses.

Yeah.

They are lost.

I think maybe at school?

I carry them in my bag with in a case that I keep a cleaning cloth in and the last time I can remember using said cloth was over the school weekend.

I should give the front desk a call tomorrow.

I may not wear the sunglasses much, but when it’s sunny and I’m outdoors, I do like having them and they were really expensive, maybe the most I have ever spent on a pair of glasses, so yeah, um, I’d like those back.

Speaking of making phone calls.

I called and left a message at one of the practicum sites I am going to apply to.

Hoping to hear back by the weekend and do some follow-up as to what they are looking for in a MFT intern (Marriage/Family Therapist) and what I need to do to apply to the site.

The information on their website says cover letter and resume.

I can do that.

But I also met the person who runs the institute in person at the practicum fair last year, so I wanted to speak more with him, I left the message for him and I’ll be awaiting further instruction.

I will also be working on putting together my stuff, resume, cv, cover letter, this weekend, I have looked over the information the school has up on its website and hopefully I should be able to knock out a decent one before I go into my first open house next Wednesday.

Yep.

Next Wednesday.

A week from today.

I will be attending my first open house at the CIIS Church Street site.

Church and 30th.

Two and a half blocks from my job.

Not bad if you can get it.

Fingers crossed.

I don’t believe that I need a resume and cover letter ready to go for the open house, but I feel like it might be really handy if I did, if it turns out they are willing to accept them in person.

It would feel good to hand one over.

And the site is being managed and supervised by a professor and TA that I worked with last year at the “retreat” in Petaluma before the fall semester started.

I am fairly certain they will remember me and I feel that it would be a good show of my commitment and desire to work with them by having all my materials ready to hand over when I show up Wednesday.

The rain it shall continue through the week and weekend and perhaps this is for the best, drought status and all this last few years, as well as helping me knuckle down and get the work done.

I mean.

I typically do, I’m not too much of a slacker around that, but yes, staying on top of things is nice.

I got my last book in the mail today when I got home and read through the book material that I got yesterday to get me caught up.

So, I’m making some nice steady progress.

And.

I am just about warmed up.

Bunny slippers and tea to the rescue!

Maybe too I’ll take a little time tonight and hunt and peck about for some rain boots.

I just checked the weather.

Solid rain not just through the weekend, but into next week as well.

Sigh.

I am glad I covered up my scooter this morning.

I don’t think I’ll be using her this week, maybe not for a week, actually, if the weather forecast is correct.

Yup.

It might just be time to succumb to the ugly boot store and get myself something to keep my feet warm.

Looking cute can be sexy.

But feeling cold and wet is not.

Feeling warm and cozy, in my bunny slippers, might just be the sexiest thing yet.

Seriously.

You should check them out.

They rock.

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.

 

Gearing Up

January 7, 2017

For the weekend.

I got stuff to do people.

Places to go.

French friends to reconnect with.

Plans to make.

Plans that may be changing.

I may postpone my trip to Paris in May, my friend won’t be going back the time we had originally made plans on being there together, she’s made some suggestions and we are going to get together tomorrow in the afternoon and hash it out.

Oh.

I’m still going.

There is absolutely no doubt about that.

Just that the timing may be different, more toward late summer or fall.

The entire point of the trip was for us to spend time together, she’s from Paris and has spoken often and passionately about a Paris I have had glimpses of but not quite gotten to see.

She wants to show me and I am all in.

We just have to push it back a little bit.

Once we have figured that out I will look at making my other travel plans, Puerto Rico.

I may take a few days and go there in May, swap out the timing on the two trips.

There will be travel.

And tomorrow there will be much get about on the train.

I have parked my scooter and covered her up.

It’s going to rain.

And it’s going to rain a fucking lot.

For over a week.

Oh well.

Before the train I will be going to yoga, I haven’t been all week trying to navigate my new schedule with the new job, but I signed up for the 9 a.m. class tomorrow and I will squeeze in a class on Sunday as well and perhaps one on Thursday, help me get mellowed out before I have my first weekend of classes.

Yup.

That’s next weekend.

I got my second text-book in the mail today.

The stack of notebooks and text books begins to grow once again.

So this weekend will be getting as much stuff as I can done before next weekend’s first classes.

I will do the deal at Tart to Tart with my person tomorrow at noon.

Then a manicure.

Then lunch with my friend.

I’ll probably find a cafe to hole up in for a few hours and crank out some reading.

I’m not going to bother coming home after I do the deal and meet my friend for lunch.

I’m gong to be heading over to the East Bay to a speaking engagement and I figure once I’m out, I’ll be out all day and just get it all in.

Sunday I’m having a lady over to do some work and then I’ll cook for the week and work on my practicum applications.

Because that shit has to get done.

And after next weekend I will be in the doing homework mode.

I mean.

Fuck.

I already am.

I have reading assigned for all my classes.

But after next weekend’s round of classes I will also have the papers and the projects that inevitably follow a weekend of classes and I have to get my practicum stuff together.

So yeah.

I’m almost, not quite, but almost, grateful for the rainy days.

I will not be out running amok.

Not that I tend to anyway when I’m getting prepared for the school weekend.

But you know.

Easier to sit still when it’s rainy and cold.

I do wish that it passes quickly and that it clears by the weekend so that I can ride my scooter to school or even to a day or two of work.

It is just so much faster than the trains.

I finally figured out the fastest way to work today.

I found the magic through streets that get me from Diamond Heights to my spot in Glen Park.

It’s a lot of hills and it’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’m getting used to the commute and it is intriguing to be in a part of the city that I haven’t had much experience with.

It’s funny how a little change in my work location opens up an entirely new part of the city and all the things that I had no clue where there are there.

It’s fun to discover stuff.

And the new job continues to be quite lovely.

I am really going to like it, I am liking it more and more every day.

Even though today was a little hard.

It wasn’t hard because of my current job, it was hard because of my previous job.

I saw the boys today.

Oh, hello tears.

I am super grateful I didn’t cry at the school, but it took some enormous draw of strength to not do so.

I saw the little guy first when I went to pick up my current charges from school.

He was out running around, he and the little girl in the family are in the same class and I figured I would see him, but I had no idea how hard it would be.

Which, you know, is a gift, when someone affects me like that, when I have that kind of depth of feeling, I don’t have to run from it, it’s a gift, it means he meant something to me.

He still does.

He means so much.

I said his name.

He looked at me, and for a moment he didn’t recognize me.

Then.

“CARMEN!”

He flew across the playground and threw himself in my arms (pausing to cry, I’ll be with you in just a moment) and hugged me so hard.

So very hard.

“I missed you,” he said and shuddered and then clung to me even harder, “I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too sweet guy,” I said and squeezed him back.

I set him gently down and asked how his Christmas was and his first week back at school and then I took a few pictures of him with my little girl charge and there was another hug and then he raced off to the playground and that was that.

I hugged my new charge and we got her back pack and bag of stuff to take home and signed her out.

I saw the old mom.

We said “hi,” and she said, “did you see?”

I did.

I nodded.

She told me his older brother was coming out and very much wanted to see me as well.

Ugh.

Slight pause to clean off my glasses.

Tear splatters.

I girded myself for the emotions and took my little girl by her hand and asked her about her day and she showed me the drawing she had drawn for me and then I looked up.

And.

Oh.

God.

His face.

All the emotions dancing across his face.

Shyness, excitement, joy, sadness, he paused and looked at me.

I smiled.

He smiled back.

Then he grinned.

Then he ran to me.

I caught him and lifted him up and hugged him and smelled his sweet neck and tried very hard, very, very, very hard, to not cry.

Saved that all for right now.

Ha.

“I missed you Carmen,” he whispered into my ear, “it’s been two weeks, it’s been too long, when are you coming back?”

“Oh bunny,” I said, and set him down, then I knelt down next to him.

“I missed you too,” I said and brushed his hair from his face and touched his soft cheek, how pale he looked, how sad and sweet and sincere.

“When are you coming back?” He asked me again.

I didn’t get a chance to say anything, the mom came and scooped him up, “we got to go ____________”

“I have to get them to the dentist,” she said, “sorry to rush off!”

“No worries, it was wonderful to see them, have a great weekend,” I said and smiled.

He looked at me, ugh, that look, then walked away with his mom.

I signed out my other charge and gave him a big hug.

“Guess what?!” I said and shook the sads out of my coat sleeves.

“What?” He asked very solemn.

“ICE CREAM,” his sister yelled, “ice cream, ice cream, ice cream, we’re going to go get ice cream.”

And we did and it was jolly fun and it helped soothe the ache in my chest to be with them and giggle and laugh and taste, them, not me, the different flavors at BiRite Creamery, and then sit and watch them devour their cones and then say, hey, let me get a coffee and guess what else, we got time for the park before we catch the train.

It was a good day.

A little sad.

A lot tender.

But a good day.

And I’m grateful for all the feelings.

“It must be hard,” my new mom said to me, when I mentioned that I saw the boys.

“For them, but also for you,” she said.

She’s an insightful person.

We get along quite well, I have to say.

“It was, but it was also good to see them,” I said, I might have been trying to gloss it over a tiny bit to keep myself together as I got my stuff to leave for the weekend.

“You must feel pretty tender, it might be harder than if you had just had a complete end with them,” she added.

“Maybe,” I said, looking at her deep blue-green sea glass eyes.

“But I’ll be ok, and I am so grateful to have made the transition to be with you,” I smiled, “thank you and please let me know how I can help next week, I’m very happy to be here.”

“Mom!” The little girl came running, “come eat dinner.”

Saved by the dinner time bell.

I got another hug from the little girl and a blown kiss from the boy and big, hearty, heart-felt thank you’s from the parents.

It was a good week.

I am glad.

My tears have dried.

And I am glad for both the expression of the emotion and that I can hold a vast amount of love and joy and emotions all at the same time.

I can love and miss the boys.

And.

I can be excited and happy for the new job.

And grateful for all of it.

All the feels.

All the things.

All the love.

Yes, love.

All the love.

It is so very, very good.

Even when it hurts.

Even then.

Seriously.

Cold And Hella Sore

January 6, 2017

I mean.

Fucking sore.

I got two shots today.

One in each arm.

Flu on the left side.

Tdap on the right.

Tdap is for whopping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus.

Technically I was still in the range to be covered by my last Tdap shot, but new baby in the home where I work and it’s been eight years and so, I got the shot today with the dad at the Walgreens in Noe Valley.

It was sort of a comedy of errors as the pharmacist couldn’t understand why the dad was just getting the flu shot, why I was getting both shots, and who was billing what insurance, and where to stand in line and how to do it and just too many cooks in the stew and too many papers to fill out.

At one point I looked at the dad, who was covered for the whooping-cough vaccine already and said, “betcha they give me two flu shots and you get the Tdap.”

And that was exactly what almost happened.

I intervened on the shots though and corrected the woman, a fourth person in the odd queue of people who had to facilitate the process.

The new family I work with is European and they seem almost as boggled by our American Health system as I do.

“We don’t take that insurance,” the clerk told me when I handed over my card.

“I’m paying for her shots, the dad told the clerk,” who just looked at us and tried to figure out what our relationship was and why we had separate addresses.

It was hilarious.

Until I got the shots.

I know that there is aching that happens, but the mind forgets and my arms got sore pretty fast and now, fuck, it sort of sucks.

Plus a very, very, very cold ride home on my scooter tonight after doing the deal up in the Castro with my person.

“Girl, I’m cold in here, you get yourself home and get warmed up,” he said and gave me a big hug.

I did not want to get on my scooter, but I also really wanted to get home.

It is cold out there.

I know, I know, it’s not Wisconsin cold, but it’s been a long wet, chilly week and the temperature here dropped a lot and is around 39 degrees right now.

That is hella cold for San Francisco.

And add some nice wind chill to that and it felt like I had frozen tears on my face riding home.

I’ve had a cup of hot tea and the heat is on and I’m still pretty chilled.

I could take a hot shower, but I already showered this morning and it’s such a hassle with my hair and I’d rather just not deal with it.

This week has been long, a bit tiring, and a little stressful.

New job anxiety.

But.

I do feel better and better and better with the time I have spent with the family.

They are warm, intelligent, kind people and I feel like I’m being really happily taken into the family.

So grateful for that.

Sore arms and all.

At least I won’t get the flu this season.

My God, though, it’s worse than I remember.

Of course, I also didn’t get both done at the same time.

My arms are on fire.

I don’t want to write this blog!

I wonder if it’s also just being tight from the ride home and tense with the cold, I think once I warm up a bit more I’ll be ok.

I am a bit of a baby when it comes to the cold, I’ve noted recently, be that as it may, I am very happy it did not rain today nor is there any rain in the forecast for tomorrow.

After that.

All bets are fucking off.

It’s going to be a long, wet, wooly, wild, rainy week of storms.

There’s a big storm coming and I am not looking forward to it.

Granted I don’t have to do a lot of stuff this weekend, meet my person at Tart to Tart, do some yoga, hopefully my arms will be back in working order by Saturday.

I’ll be heading over to Oakland on Saturday too, got a speaking engagement in North Oakland.

I’ll be doing the trains and the BART all weekend long.

And probably next week to and from work too, I can’t fathom riding in the rain when it’s been as cold as it’s been.

I’m so grateful I didn’t last night, the feeling of dread that came over me when I contemplated riding home last night in the cold and rain, it was unbearable.

No such feeling tonight when I got on the scooter, just the cold to contend with.

And I did.

And I’ll warm up.

And the rain will pass and it will all be ok.

The train rides will give me opportunity to read.

And not pleasure reading.

That brief time as passed, that window has closed.

I got my first text-book for the next semester in the mail today.

I shall begin the reading for class ASAP.

There’s a good deal to read and school starts the next weekend.

Sigh.

Winter break.

You’ve come and gone so fast.

Oh well.

I did read one book all the way through and a bit into the Don DeLillo, but all the other lovely books I got are going to have to wait until summer time.

C’est la vie.

It was real nice there for a moment.

Damn Gina.

I’m tired.

Cold, and lonely, and the wolves are after me.

Ha.

Just kidding.

Cold though, I’m still cold, time for more tea and a good snuggle under my grandma’s afghan.

Yes.

That sounds just about right.

Night all.

Stay warm.

Snuggle bunnies.

Seriously.

Train Time

January 4, 2017

I took a lot of trains today.

Five to be exact.

I don’t mind the trains, but man, the extra time to be in commute.

Ugh.

However.

The weather was not conducive in any way, shape, or form, for me to be on my scooter, no way.

If I’m having a hard time walking in the wind and rain, I cannot imagine what being on my scooter would have been like today.

When I got up this morning I basically threw the cover on my bike and settled into the idea of calling for a car.

Except.

My new employer texted and said, hey we won’t need you for another hour, don’t come in until 11 a.m.

So.

I had plenty of time to take the train.

And it was not as long as I thought it would be.

I had guessed an hour and a half to an hour and 45 minutes.

It was an hour ten minutes.

But still.

Considering that on my scooter it would be about 20-25 minutes, it felt like eternity.

I also brought the kids home from school on the train and then rode the train back from work to doing the deal and after that, finally, home.

I feel a little blown out from all the trains.

Granted.

I got a good idea of what one of my duties was going to be picking up the kids from school and I’m grateful for that experience as I will be out in the world and able to have some time away from the house and were it not raining, a trip to the park, to the library, to Glen Canyon, to all sorts of places.

I may have spent a few moments in the bathroom at work crying today.

I won’t say I didn’t.

But.

I know that once I get used to the job and the commute and the newness of it starts to fade, I am really going to like my job.

I am going to have a lot more autonomy, a lot more freedom and a lot more space than I did in my previous job.

I am super grateful for that.

And I also feel so very welcomed in the family.

The mom gave me a big hug tonight when I left, “I really feel like I want to hug you,” she said with her big, spacious, sincere blue eyes.

We hugged.

It was nice.

It is nice.

It’s still hard.

It’s just day two.

It might be hard for a little while.

It might be weird for a little while.

It might be awkward for a little while.

Might.

Ha.

It will be.

And that is ok.

I can see that it will also become easier, when I get a routine, when the family has a routine, hell, the baby is four days old, there is no routine yet, dad’s home from work, friend from out-of-town is there helping with baby, new nanny, first day back to school today, I’m surprised there wasn’t more crazy than there was.

The crazy was mostly in my head.

The family is super warm and very inviting and caring and lovely.

I mean it.

Really lovely.

We haven’t set up the payroll stuff yet and the mom and I talked about that a little bit today when I first came in.

She wanted me to know that should it fall through the cracks this week that I would just get a check and that it would get set up and that I would be taken care of.

She also said that I would get the hours I needed, that they would pay me for the set amount that we had agreed on, even if I didn’t end up working the full set of hours this week, I would be compensated for them.

I felt really good hearing that.

The dad joked that really it was the family that was on the two-week trial and not me.

“What?! You’re going, but we’re having pizza!” The oldest boy told me.

“Will you be back tomorrow,” he asked me, eyes, big, serious, searching.

“Yes,” I said, “would that be alright with you?”

I got the nod.

We had spent easily an hour sitting at the table over looking an astonishing view of down town San Francisco, playing play doh and rockets and building things and smashing things and telling stories.

“Sometimes I forget to eat my lunch, because, um, I’m chatty,” he told me.

He is and it’s adorable.

He’s got a huge imagination, a great memory, and an amazing vocabulary for a six-year-old.

We talked a lot.

Just back and forth and back and forth and read from a book about rocket ships and yeah, that was the last hour of my day, while the parents dealt with a visiting baby nurse and the house guest played stuffies with the little girl and when I checked in with the dad, “I’m just playing play doh, let me know what I can do to help.”

He looked at me and shook his head, “that is the best help you can give us right now.”

Which is nice.

And I feel trusted and that is really nice.

“You’re going to get lots or down time too,” he told me, “when we all go back to our normal lives and the kids are in school and the baby is napping, we hope you will read and study for school.”

Oh my god.

Such a nice thing to hear.

I mean.

Really so nice.

So despite the discomfort of change, even when change is good for me, it can be so disquieting, I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be for this next phase of my development.

I am excited too when I give myself the space to feel it.

It’s just mostly buried under the newness of it all and finding my feet as I get situated in a new home, with new closets and corners and nooks and crannies and things to learn and re-organize in my mind.

All the stuff.

All the things.

And tomorrow.

More rain.

So I think I’ll splurge on a car.

I had enough of the trains today.

Besides.

I’ll be picking up the kids from school on the MUNI and riding that back and forth all week-long.

It’s a quick commute and a little walk and I’m grateful for that as well, I spent a lot of time indoors at my previous job, very grateful for the opportunity to be back out in the world.

I rather missed it.

So.

Embracing the change.

Even when giving into the change makes me feel out of my comfort zone.

I know I’ll be in the sweet spot soon.

I can already see it coming down the line.

Just like the J-Church turning the corner on Church and 30th.

Or the N-Judah coming out of the tunnel at Cole and Duboce.

It may seem far away.

But it’s really just around the bend.

Thank God.

Day One

January 3, 2017

And the weather Gods shone down on me and my scooter.

Yes.

It stopped raining in time for me to ride to work.

It did indeed rain a little too, but not until I was already at the job and inside and then it passed and I was able to make the entire day without getting wet.

Although I feel pretty chilled.

I was going to go and do yoga after I got back from doing the deal and I just didn’t have it in me, if I did, I’d be doing yoga right now instead of doing my blog, but I just needed to take it easy and slowly get into my groove.

I went to bed early enough to actually get a full eight hours and though I had some anxiety last night as I was figuring stuff out, figuring stuff out, what fucking ever, I fell off pretty quick.

I was tired from not getting a full night’s sleep after the New Year’s Eve dance.

I fell out when I got into bed.

Grateful I gave myself the extra time this morning.

Because even with navigation and looking at the map three or four or five hundred times I still got lost.

Not horribly so.

But just enough that I had to pull over on my scooter three times to check the navigation.

I was literally within three blocks of the house and I missed the turn and did a loop around and it’s a bit squirrelly in that particular neighborhood, some odd one ways and small side streets, so I was super grateful I had given myself the extra time to figure out where the fuck I was going.

I got there.

And super happy to report that there’s not time restriction on the street parking, I can park my scooter anywhere, although I was also offered the option of parking in the driveway blocking the garage.

So that’s nice.

Tomorrow, if it rains, I take a car.

It’s up and down a lot of hills.

Plus.

Today was technically a holiday, which neither the family or I realized.

I realized when I was on the way over, no traffic.

I mean.

None.

Then it hit me, when a holiday falls on a Sunday, the Monday is considered an off holiday, all the schools go back tomorrow.

So I got the whole family today.

Mom, dad, friend visiting from Finland, and the three children.

6 years.

4 years.

And.

2 days old.

Yes.

Two days old.

Such a little peanut!

Tomorrow it will be me and the mom and the dad and the baby as the two oldest go to school.  I’ll get all the paper work and taxes and stuff worked out.

Today I just got used to being in the house and I also got to go with the middle girl to the Upper Noe Valley Rec Center.

Dad and the oldest boy were working on a project and mama and the baby had a nap.

The friend visiting will be gone soon and dad will go back to work and then it looks like me, the mom, the baby, and then I will do pick up from school.

I might do drop off once in a while too, not quite sure how that’s going to work yet.

Tomorrow the dad will do drop off.

So instead of coming in at 9 a.m. I’ll go in at 10 a.m. and work until 6p.m.

I am hoping that once we get it all figured out I will have a set schedule.

I’m not the greatest at hopping all around.

I’d like to know so that I can schedule myself and doing the deal into a routine that allows me to get some commitments and be accountable to my recovery.

Hella important to me.

Until that happens, might be a week or two, I’m going to be flexible, because I can, and the baby is such a wee little mite he’ll be with mom and I think the dad has off for a few weeks from work to help too.

It’s a full house.

But.

It’s a nice house and I’m grateful for the job and the experience and getting to know a new family.

“Wait!  You’re leaving?” The little girl said to me as I was wrapping up what tomorrow schedule was going to be with the mom.

“Don’t go!  I’m going to miss you!”

Glad to know that I’m already missed.

That made me happy, and I the oldest asked me if I was going to be coming back tomorrow and I said I sure would and if it was ok with him, I’d be picking him up at school tomorrow.

It was ok with him.

I went to put on my jacket and get my stuff and the little girl came over and said, “I’ve decided that you should stay and we should have a slumber party.”

Oh my god.

I love it.

“I think that’s a great idea!” I exclaimed, “but I didn’t bring my pajamas, do you think we could have a slumber party another day?”

She decided it would be so.

Granted, of course, we had or moments.

“I don’t love you,” she said to me at one point today when we were out at the park and I could tell it was time to go home to lunch, hungry, angry (new baby taking all of mama’s time, new strange nanny), lonely (her brother stayed with dad), tired, it was nap time and though she, according to mom and dad doesn’t really nap much, she fell asleep in the stroller on the way back to the house.

I scooped her up, carried her in, got her out of her rain gear and polka dot boots and mom got her settled.

I told her later, “_________ you don’t have to love me, we can start with like and see what happens, ok?”

And then we had a unicorn and dog picnic, played with stamps and Play Doh and told each other stories.

“I have never heard you play like that before,” her dad said to her when she went to show him something.

I felt really good hearing that, the little tone of awe in his voice, the comfort that was there, noted, his child felt comfortable with me and playful and crawled in my lap and snuggled and we talked and held hands and she asked me to find her tickle spots and did I have any and what did the stars on my neck mean and could she wear my glasses?

It was a very sweet first day and I feel that I will make it through my two-week trial without too much struggle.

Really, I think I passed the test today in flying colors when I got asked to stay over night and have a slumber party.

Probably even before that.

Now.

It’s just a matter of getting used to the commute and the timing and when I can get to yoga, I do want to make sure I’m getting to a least one class during the week.

It will all suss out.

Until then.

I think I’ll probably have another early night.

And more hot tea.

Yay!

Made it through my first day.

Happy.

Happy.

Joy.

Joy.


%d bloggers like this: