I love my work. I thank God I’m still well enough to do it as much as I do. And some days, where I work, it’s too much, and we just look at each other and shake our heads, like, “Are you believing this?” I had just gotten off the phone, taking an application for our waiting list, a family in need of a counselor. I walked out of the office to see my colleagues looking a bit the worse for wear, and I handed the application to the director, and a copy to the other clinical supervisor.
Lydia: How do you say this name, the mom? Ki-nee?
Susie: No, it’s pronounced, Ki-NAY, see I wrote it phonetically right there…
Donna: And the daughter, is that Ky-mee-ah?
Susie: No, it’s more like Kuh-mee-uh.
Lydia: As in, C’meah? C’mere! C’mere, C’meah!
Susie: That’s right, it’s expedient. See, you don’t even have to say c’mere! You just say C’meah, and she knows you mean, c’mere, C’meah!
We’re laughing, now. We’re starting to lose it. The front door is locked, we’re sprawled in chairs in the waiting room.
Donna: The boy, what is his name, Cry-on?
Susie: It looks like cry-on, but it’s pronounced Koran. Like a holy book.
Lydia: Lemme see. That’s not Koran. That’s . . . Carry-on.
Susie: Yea, the kid is baggage, so she named him Carry-on. “C’meah, and bring Carry-on!”
We’re howling, now.
Donna: Yea, and his brother is Satchel . . .
Susie (can barely get it out, we’re laughing so hard): And the older sister is Valise!
The bell rings and we look toward the door. Lydia opens it and in comes her client, a single Mom with her little boy, who has Asperger’s. Lydia greets the Mom, finds out how her week has been, while the little boy shows Donna and me what he’s been shooting on his VideoNow camera. Lydia walks them both to her office, Donna goes to get the ringing phone, and I return the call to the man who couldn’t talk because he was at work earlier, but now he can so he tells me that Child Protective Services told him to call us after his 8-year-old showed up at school with the man’s handprint on his face. The school where the man’s wife, the boy’s mom, teaches. Back to work, silly girls.
How can you tell when you’re ready for a vacation?