Posts Tagged ‘play therapy’

Smashed With Love

September 15, 2017

I had a reunion today with one of my favorite charges.

I have been on the look out for him since school started.

The family I used to work for and the family I work for now have their children in the same school.

I do school pick up for my charges four to five days a week.


I ran into one of the boys I used to work with today.


I should say.

He ran into me.


Full tilt gallop from across the playground.

I was nearly bowled over.

I had no idea he was coming.

I was looking for my charge and then heard my name being called out, and it took a moment for me to realize that the voice calling my name was not the voice of my current charge, but a past charge.

And then.

He leapt into my arms.

He knew I would be there to catch him and I was.

My whole body responded before my brain had a chance to even register what had happened.

All I knew was that my arms were full of this sweet little boy.

“I miss you! I miss you! I miss you!” He cried and hugged me so hard.

I told him how much I have missed him and how much I love him and it was such a sweet reunion.

I nearly burst into tears.

This situation, being at the same school, with two different families, is a new one for me.

The first few times my former charge saw me were so achingly painful I dreaded going to do school pick up.

Part of me yearned to see them, my boys, such sweet, sweet boys.


Part of me couldn’t bear it.

I missed them so badly and they didn’t understand why I wasn’t with them any longer and was with my new family and when was I coming back?


8 months later.

They seem to have gotten it.

And there’s some distance from the hurt and the loss and the grieving I did when I said good-bye to them.

Now it seems tender, but it doesn’t have the same sting, and though I thought I might cry, I did not, yes, oh yes, I gave him many fierce hugs and told him multiple times how much I loved him, but I didn’t lose it.

He ran off with my little girl charge and they went to the monkey bars and it did my heart something good to watch the two of them play.

It did my heart real good.

My charges were all about the love today.

There was much holding hands, there were many hugs, there were no tantrums.

It was magic.

I even had a little time before the mom came in this morning to make a few check in phone calls and get myself oriented for the week.

And get my clients sussed out for the next few weeks.

I have been given another client.

And with that.

I now have eight.

Which is where I will stay, at least for the semester.

I will pick up consults on Saturdays that I am not in class, but aside from that, I have my eight clients.

I am a therapist.

I mean.

I really am doing this.

“What’s a therapist?” My oldest charge asked me today, “is that what you’re in school for, and how come you’re still in school, is it like a career thing?”

He’s very astute for seven.

“Yes,” I told him, ruffling his hair.

He and I were solo at this point in the day, mom and little sister had a dance class to go to and he and I were headed home on MUNI.

“A therapist is someone who helps you communicate with your emotions, sometimes they help you communicate with other people too,” I told him.

“A therapist helps you with your feelings,” I continued.

“Oh yeah, I remember,” he said and reached for my hand, “and you’re a therapist!”

“Yes,” I smiled, “yes, I am.”

“But you’re still my nanny, right?” He asked, a tiny note of concern in his voice.

“Yes, I’m still you’re nanny,” I replied, slowing down a little as he thought it through.

“But you won’t be forever, you’ll graduate from school and you’ll be a therapist all the time?” He asked, then stopped walking and added, “but that’s not for a while yet, right?  You’re still many nanny for a while.”

“Yes, it will be a while before I have a practice all my own and we’ll have lots of time together before that happens,” I assured him.

“And then you can be my therapist!” He concluded and grabbed my hand happy to have figured out a way to keep me permanently in his life.

Oh my heart.

It just was squashed with his love.

I hope you never, ever, ever, need a therapist darling boy.

Although, I know how helpful it is, it’s super helpful.

Just to have someone listen to you, to attend to you, to help you navigate through emotional states and processes.

Even if there’s not a trauma to work through.

Therapy is some super helpful stuff.

And really, if I’m honest about it, in a way, I am this child’s therapist.

We do a lot of play therapy and a lot of narrative therapy.

Of course.

I don’t tell him that.

For him, it is just play, that’s how children process emotions, they play.

So he and I play a lot, we color, we tell stories, well, he tells me stories, all the time, and I get to listen and ask questions.

He’s very excited, for instance, about the new Iphone.

“Are you going to get one?” He asked me.

“Nope, I don’t have a $1,000 to spend on a phone,” I told him.

He was not pleased with this answer, he’s very pro Apple products.

“Don’t you have something you can sell?” He asked, “you know, to get money to buy the phone?”

I laughed out loud.

I love how he thinks.

He’s very solution oriented.

I love my charges.


And present.

I’m so grateful for them, for all the sweet love I have gotten to have, for the laughter, for the naps, for the snuggles and hugs and the joy of them.

Children astound me.

The bright faces of God shining with love.

How lucky, graced really, I am to get to do this work.

Luckiest girl in the world.


You’re Going To Get Old

September 20, 2014


Might as well do it with panache.

And daring.

And walk through the fear.

I received the materials today from the graduate program that I have been looking at and realized, fuck.

I don’t have all the pre-requisites.

I would have to put off the program for another year.

I got abysmal.

I trashed the program materials in the recycling.

Then I called a friend.

Who would know about having to do more school than she thought to get her degree and it was really good to get some perspective and the fact is that I do want to do this and I do think I would make a really great child psychologist.

I do.

The program is five years.

I would have to do the pre-requisite classes, which would add-on another year.



Hey, you know, I would be a doctor.

Not a medical doctor, no, but a doctor and I could teach and I could have a private practice and I could lead a richer fuller life by helping others lead richer fuller lives.

I wanted to cancel on the open house I RSVP’d to.

I did not.

I wanted to throw up my hands in the air and say, what am I doing?  Am I just having the same experience that happens, quite frequently, it would seem, am I just having another weird side winding wonk at a career?

Am I grasping for something that will fulfill me?

Because I don’t need a thing or a career or a person to do that.


More investigationship is what is needed.

I will go to the open house and I will talk with advisors and maybe there’s a different program, maybe I get my MFT and I practice as a therapist and not as a psychologist.

Maybe I find out I am not interested in the degree at all.

But I have to explore it.

Too many things seem to be pointing at the program and I am not going to ignore all those signs.

I am just going to show up for the next action and ask questions, exploring my options is not only the smart thing to do, it’s the only thing to do.  I cannot figure it out on my own.

I mean a child therapist is still a noble career and I know I would be great at it.

I am not afraid of the work.

I am a bit afraid of the financial bits and pieces.

But then I think, if it’s what is supposed to be it will fall into place and it will be obvious.

I mean a month ago I had no idea I would be starting a new job today.

Which is what I did.

I started a new job.

This family wasn’t even on my radar, I didn’t even know they existed, I was out in the high Black Rock Desert getting my pre-event Burning Man on.

I knew that my time with the family I was working with was probably going to be ending, but I did not think it would end the way it did or the manner it did, I didn’t expect two weeks with no work, but it was perfect, I had a great staycation–ferry-boat ride to Larkspur, lunches at the Ferry Building, a lot of iced coffees, reading books in the back yard, going to the Legion of Honor and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, sleeping in, having lunch with friends–and I interviewed with and got the job with a new family.

I also passed my back ground check.

“Squeaky clean!”

Not even a speeding ticket.

I joked with a friend of mine that I had delusions of Grand Theft Auto Grandeur.

Like I had done something felonious in nature and just like, I don’t know, forgot it, and it was going to come up in the back ground check and oops, no job for you!

But that’s not how it worked.

I got the job.

I am above-board.

I am being taxed and doing it right and I have a signed contract and benefits and paid holidays and days off.

I have employment that will carry me forward while I explore graduate school.

I am supposed to go to graduate school.

I know it.

I have always believed I would.

This time feels like the time.

I have a gut feeling and I am going to go with it.

And the doubting, well, it may come up again, but I can keep on exploring until the right fit happens.  And the doubt, it’s just a habit, one I have broken in regards to so many other things that it doesn’t even really seem applicable.

Sort of like an old habit that pops up once in a while to say howdy.

I can just wave and move on.

The dream is this:

My own practice in my own home in my town–San Francisco.

I know that’s a lot to bite off.

But that’s what I want.

I want to own a home in San Francisco and have a private practice out of my home wherein I am a top child psychologist/therapist.

That’s the dream.

At least the dream this week.

I have had the dream of wanting to be a writer in my own home in San Francisco too.

The dream typically has a house attached to it.

Sometimes, but not always, in fact, more infrequent than I might care to mention, there is not a family or a man attached to that dream.

Just me.

A house.

My own studio space, writing space, office space, and my own practice.


Children’s therapy.

Sunny, bright, warm, trees, play area, cozy couches and cushions and stuffed animals and play therapy and helping kids.

I have a dream about a picket fence and children.

The children don’t have to be mine biologically.

The house, while I don’t plan on birthing it, I do want to be mine.


I have plans.

Yes I do.

I don’t have to know what is going to happen.

I just need to take another little step through on this path.

Show up for a new job, be a good employee, work with two new little boys, love the home I get to be a part of, be present, and then, go to the open house next Saturday and just ask some questions.

That’s all.

Nothing to it.

%d bloggers like this: