Posts Tagged ‘swimming lessons’

Who’s Going To Fold My Laundry?

May 15, 2015

I mean.

I got the work side of it covered.

Actually did laundry three times already this week at work.

Between swimming lessons, potty training, and boys just being boys, I have a lot of laundry to do.

But what about mine?

It’s just sitting there on the bed, looking at me like, “what you’re blogging, excuse me bitch, you have chores to do.”

My bib overalls spake the loudest.

I really should just haul ass into the shower is what I should do.

I was in the pool today with the family at UCSF Mission Bay and I can smell the chlorine on myself.

Which is actually a scent I quite enjoy.

It reminds me of swimming in high school, one of the few places I always felt safe and secure in.

I lucked into swimming.

I lucked into being on the team and I lucked for sure into lifeguarding.

That haven of chlorine and warm air was a balm to my soul, even if I did not have the words to put on it, I loved that pool, I loved the light that would come in through the windows and I loved that every once in a great while there was no one at open swim and all the guards could be found napping on plywood boxes that held kick boards and pull buoys.

I miss that.

One of the few things from high school that I miss.

Sometimes I see a post of a high school classmate on Facebook and it does make me wonder what my life would look like if I had stayed in Wisconsin.

I don’t know that I would have as many tattoos or that my hair would be multi-colored.

Of course last year when I visited my best friend and her skulk up in the Northern reaches of the state, she pointed out a number of colorful dye jobs–I was not the only one.

Dare say, however, that I was the only one in her 40s with purple and pink hair.

What would life look like if I had stayed in Wisconsin?

It is almost too much of a stretch for my mind to imagine.

I suspect I would be married and with child or children.

Career wise I have no clue.

Although, considering what I was doing when I left it would probably be in the hospitality, food service industry.

Would I be sober?

Also another thing I cannot quite imagine.

Although I believe, knowing what I know, that my disease would have progressed and found me drinking more and more.

I don’t have any doubt about that whatsoever.

I know folks who have gotten sober in Madison, in fact, someone I reached out to during a nadir or despair, but I was not quite there yet, that was to come about four months later, had told me about being sober and going to undergrad and how it was just his luck that his new good friend happened to be the floor manager at the Angelic Brewing Company.

Floor Manager.

I hated that title.

I was not the General Manager, never would be, but I always felt that Floor Manager just did not do justice to the work I put in there.  I am still amazed that I worked there for six years and did the things I did.

Although most of it is a haze of memories and the nights all blur together.

Not that I was black out drinking while I was working there, or doing drugs.

The only thing I did was an ecstasy pill one night after the bar closed in one of the last days of working there.

I was far too controlling and afraid of the repercussions of drinking and I wanted nothing to do with drugs.

I was in charge and God forbid I didn’t do the right thing.

I believe I held myself, and I still hold myself, to far higher standards than any one else was or does.

I realize, just now as I think about an ex and his wife and their two kids in Sun Prairie;  I would rather not continue thinking about what life would be like, if, when, or whatever.

The fact is life is pretty damn good now and I don’t have regrets about it.

Even the laundry sitting on my bed thinks I have done an astounding job of making it here in San Francisco.

I’ve never been forced to leave, and the only time I chose to move away was not to move back to Wisconsin, but to move to Paris.

Not Texas either.

France.

I was just thinking though, I miss my best friend and sometimes I do wonder what it would be like to live closer to her, to get to see her and her husband and the boys a little more often.

I received a voicemail from her the other day and I could hear how much she misses me and damn, don’t I miss her.

Christmas?

I know.

It’s May.

But as I gear up for the ensuing travels and then the start of graduate school I don’t know that it will be any sooner.

I, of course, much prefer Wisconsin in summer.

There’s blueberry picking, strawberry picking, running around in sundresses, warm nights (mosquitos and ticks, but who’s counting those), long walks along the water, and my friend.

Then I think, well, I do like Wisconsin in the winter too, it’s pretty, the snow, the Christmas lights, the stark trees outlined against the grey skies.

It’s a different kind of beauty and one that I know well from the many winters I spent there growing up from five to when I really left, 29.

Twenty four years of Wisconsin.

There are times when I ride through the Pan Handle on my bicycle and I will have a flash, the way the light is falling, the trees, the green of the grass, and it feels, just for a moment that I am on the North East side of Madtown, perhaps the edges of Maple Bluff, and if I was just to go left rather than right I would find myself riding my bicycle past Tenney Park instead of Golden Gate Park.

But it never does happen.

And I don’t want to go back.

There is no there there.

It is here.

Here, in San Francisco where I belong.

“I always worried about you when you said that you were going to find yourself in San Francisco,” my best friend told me.

I think she meant pulling a geographic was not going to solve the problems I was trying to solve.

She was right, I took my problems with me.

But I did find me here.

I found me in Burning Man, in the rooms, in the Mission District, on the long walks through the park, the meteor shower over Twin Peaks, I found me riding a bicycle (who the hell knew that I would be bicycling all this time? Certainly not I), I found me on the beach by the ocean, the sun wrapt in my hair on my face, the sand in my toes; I found me while being a nanny, who the hell was going to call that one?

And I’m going to fold my laundry.

Because I find me in that too.

The simple acts of self-care that I have been taught to do and enjoy.

The small things that I carry out to continue getting to live in the most amazing place in the country and continue to be the most amazing woman I can be.

It all happens right here.

In San Francisco.

Nowhere I would rather be.

Right here.

Right now.

Today Was A Shit Show

January 27, 2015

Actually.

It was a vomitorium.

The oldest boy puking, everywhere.

Just after baths.

Fifteen minutes before I am leaving.

Just after getting home from swimming lessons, a raucous dinner, a crazy younger brother who did not nap and construction on both sides of the house all day.

Plus the housecleaner was there today.

And I made a double batch of the family’s favorite dinner.

Oof.

It was a day.

Not a bad day, either.

Just busy.

Sometimes things happen and it’s not good or bad, it’s just what it is.

Oh and a trip to the market and a trip to the coffee shop and the park.

I mean.

It makes the day go fast.

And I do like being needed.

Although at one point, I think it was when the youngest blew a raspberry at the dinner he normally eats ravenously, “I LOVE IT” is his usual response to said meal, and dumped the entire plate on the floor that I thought.

That’s it.

I’m done.

But the vomiting was still to come.

I was not done yet.

I am glad the day is done and I had a good bike ride through the Wiggle and up into the park and over to 7th and Irving to catch up with friends and fellows and get out of myself for a little while.

Be of service and such.

“You’re single!”  My friend said, after I gave him a big hug.

I missed him last week, but it was Noir City and The Thin Man at the Castro was playing.

We caught up and it was good to acknowledge, that yes, it is true, I am indeed single.

And it feels like it again.

I’m close to saying I’m ready to date, I’m definitely entertaining the thought, although there is no one in mind, it’s just there.

I have no desire, however, to re-open my OkCupid account or to actually activate the Tinder account I had downloaded.

I am going to try it the old-fashioned way.

Let someone ask me out.

I’ll give that a couple of months and if it doesn’t appear to be happening I will actively start asking guys out again.

At the moment I feel that I have to be approached.

I am worth the ask.

“What are you doing this summer?” The mom casually, not really, asked as we headed to the school to pick up the oldest boy for swimming lessons.

Working as much as possible I thought, getting ready for graduate school, hopefully not having to look for another job.

It turns out that I was being felt out about the summer vacation plans for Sonoma.

Oh.

The house in Sonoma.

Pool.

13 acres.

Woods.

Creek.

Llama farm next door.

Llama farm.

Really.

Some where around Glen Ellen, about an hour outside of the city.

The family has taken a month before, but it sounds like they are planning on taking 10 days in June and 10 days in August.

They haven’t gotten the dates set up, they are finding out about the availability of the house.

Did I say pool?

“We would rent you a car so you could come up and go down for the weekend.” The mom explained.

I would work there, staying over night, I believe, I need to check my contract, but I believe I get an extra $50 per day for doing any over night travelling with them.

I would have my own room and bathroom and all my food would be taken care of.

It sounds scary and awesome all at the same time.

I also reiterated with the mom that I wanted to stay with them as long as they wanted and they do want, even when both the boys are in school, I feel that there will be plenty of work that can be done at the house.

Especially since I do so much of the marketing and cooking and general snack and food prep.

“What are you doing when he goes to pre-school,” the savvy pregnant mom at the park asked me.

“I’m heading to graduate school,” I told her, “though the likelihood is that I will be staying on and helping the family part-time.”

“Well, I am at the same school,” the mom said, “my oldest daughter is in the same grade as ________, just in the other preschool class.”

Oh.

Nice.

I like that.

“And I plan on contacting them, because should they not need you, I will.”  She smiled.

That was good to hear.

I’m not going to mention what school that is, but suffice to say, it’s not a public school.

It is good information to have and I know that I certainly have the references to continue working in whatever capacity I will be working in for the fall.

I suspect, again, though, that I will be staying with the current family.

Through the good times and the bad, vomit.

Because I like them and their dog, who always gives me kisses and wishes me a happy hello Monday when I come back from the weekend.

And the snuggle pie boys who yes, are boys and poop and pee and vomit and throw food and splash water out of the bathtub, and fart.

Oh.

My.

God.

The oldest today, after swimming class, was in the car seat and had taken off all shoes, socks, and tossed his whole back pack from school on the floor of the car with all the lunch fixings and containers tumbled about and while I was gathering it all up and grabbing his feisty feet to put them back in their socks, he farted to kill a cow.

I mean.

Holy Jesus on a flaming pogo stick.

It was like sticking my head in a fart oven.

He laughed so loud that he almost peed his pants.

He was the one who threw up all over tonight too.

I am laughing at this all now.

Although at the time I was almost over it.

Poor bunny, coughed so hard it triggered a gag reflex which brought up some phlegm, which grossed him out and then he hurled everywhere.

Everywhere.

Ugh.

I hollered out to the parents, one vomit covered boy, fresh from the bath, so at least he was only in the clean underpants I had just put on him, plus his younger, completely naked brother, who was running around playing 3, 2, 1 blast off with his Meow Meow (his stuffed kitty cat, who he informed me did NOT speak Spanish, when I greeted him with “hola gato.” “No hola!” He trumpeted at me.  “Bonjour mon chat,” I replied. “NO bongor!” he hollered kicking his feet out.  “Well, what language does Meow Meow speak?” I asked.  “Cat,” he said and if a two-year old could roll his eyes, he might have done so.  I mean, duh, nanny, get with the program.) running through the vomit barefoot, to come up and help.

Please dear God, help me now.

Thank goodness for extra hands when you need them.

I left soon after, the dad helping by cleaning up the various piles of puke.

The mom lining up a Pengu video.

I got the oldest one juice with a little bubbly water and some saltine crackers and wrapped up my day.

It was one hell of a day.

But I made it through and I am grateful for my job.

Even when the shit.

Er, vomit.

Hits the fan.

It cleans up fast.

 

Wet Behind the Ears

October 14, 2014

I was in the pool today for the first time in over a year.

I went to La Petite Bailene in the Presidio today with my charges and their mom and got in the pool with one of the boys for his swimming lesson.

My how things have changed.

I taught swimming lessons when I was in high school.

It was NOT La Petite Bailene.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the facility, in fact, I was sort of blown away by the entire set up of it.

They have all the bells and whistles.

And when the little guy got upset, who wouldn’t get upset, suddenly in a new place with a new teacher and a new environment that even for an adult was really stimulating, there was suddenly a lifeguard pool side calling out his name and blowing bubbles down on him like some magic pixie fairy.

God damn.

I did not grow up on swimming lessons like this.

In fact, I cannot remember not being able to swim.

I was just tossed into the water.

I was a water baby.

My mom did say her heart dropped out of her mouth when I was just dropped into the water the first time by the instructor, but then I popped back up and paddle about.

Babies have an innate floating ability until about 4-6 months.

Infants can be taught how to swim.

The phase does pass and then there’s all sorts of techniques to help teach kids how.

I was blown away by all the stuff they had.

The pool in DeForest was a great pool and it was always a refuge for me when I was there, but it did not have the bells and whistles of La Petite Bailene.

I just pretended I did not know what I was doing and let the instructor guide me through the class.

It was fun being a “novice.”

I was completely at ease, although my charge was not so much, clinging and upset, but by the end we did coax a high-five out of him and I suspect that given a few more times in the water, he will get excited to be swimming and having a blast.

I was looking over the posters in the lobby of the facility and all the classes offered and I thought, this is a fucking racket.

There is no way it should take this long to teach a kid how to swim.

No way.

But then I reflected on the nature of the classes and the availability of pool time that most of the kids get and it’s just not the same for a city kid like it was for me in high school.

We were always in the water and I was always teaching.

I think we also ran three-week sessions where the kids would come in every other day or every day and they got the bulk of the learning down.

The lessons at this facility are only offered once a week.

I don’t think most folks can swing more than that out of a busy family schedule.

It’s a lot to get to the pool.

But it was a fun distraction and a great way to pass a large chunk of the day.

I didn’t mind driving cross the town to get to the class.

It was nice to sit and be still for a minute and see the city from the seat of a car instead of the seat of my bicycle.

My legs got a work out yesterday and today and I am feeling it.

So a nice sit in a car seat as a passenger was a treat.

A treat I will get once a week for the next three months–we are signed up!

And it does make the day go by super quick.

The boys were hungry for dinner when we got back and after unloading them, feeding dinner, and doing bath time, it was all the sudden time to go.

I did not get the typical break in my day as it was Columbus Day and school was out, so I had both the boys, but I did not mind, as I said, the day passed quickly and the sitting in the car did feel like a break, it’s a luxury to sit that long when one is a nanny.

It was nice, too, to be in a pool.

I was quite tempted to dive around myself and cavort a little, but there was no opportunity for that with my charge, I think there will be once he has a little more time, but it did make me think that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go swimming once in a while for myself.

Not open ocean swimming like I have talked about, I don’t think I want to work that hard right now, but in a pool would be nice.

There’s a couple of pools in the Mission and the one at 19th between Valencia and Guerrero has lap swim.  Maybe the next time I am in the park I will check it out, see if there’s a time that makes sense for me to do some lap swimming.

Just a thought.

I have plenty going on in my life as it is.

Trying to date.

Doing the deal.

Living life.

Writing.

I forget the time commitment I have to do the writing and I do it every day, which is why I probably forget that it too eats a good portion of time.

Time that I do not resent or regret, it makes life for me better, my therapy, the pen and the paper, my outlet, the blog, my connection to something outside myself which seems to speak to me through the writing here.

I don’t necessarily have to cram in more stuff.

Unless it’s fun.

I was told tonight to do one fun thing a week.

Swimming could be construed as fun, now that I think of it.

Or going on a date.

That’s supposed to be fun right?

I’m just going to leap into the deep end and find out.

I might even make a date for this weekend.

Get my fun on.

Paddle about and try to keep my head above water.


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