07 August 2012


Tutor Tales, Volume 37

This was almost a Writing Diary post. Were it so, you'd now be reading a little bit about my new job and the "regular" office hours I now keep, and why they mean I can no longer tutor Scrap Metal (or anyone else).

But this is a Tutor Tales post, which means you're reading a little bit about my new job and the "regular" office hours I now keep, and why they mean I can no longer write for MOD Magazine and Atlas TV Guide nor proofread papers for a Chinoy client I've been working with since before I started this blog.

If you had asked me last month which of the two I would rather drop--the freelance writing or the freelance tutoring--then I would have said the latter. Although the former pays much less, there are no transportation expenses to worry about. And I do love my bylines.

But these days, there's someone else who loves me . . .

Last month, Scrap Metal's nanny told me that she had turned in her two weeks notice. After a year of putting up with the boy, she had finally found another position and was going to take it.

I understood completely. Scrappy was beastly to me when I first started tutoring him, and he didn't warm to me until the end of our second year. He had been that way with his previous nanny as well (See Volume 32!), and I wanted to tell this one to give him another few months--but it was clear she had had enough. So what I said instead was that I was thinking of resigning as well, not because he was still giving me a hard time, but because I had become so busy with another job. And we both wondered grimly what his mother (who has a demanding professional job of her own) would do without us.

Then the nanny excused herself so she could start cooking her charge's dinner, and I began gathering my things so I could leave. That was when Scrappy popped up out of nowhere, grabbed my hand, and said--

"Please don't resign."

It was so unexpected that I gaped . . . and then thought--

Dear Lord, I can't leave this boy!

What I should have done was resign at the end of the last school year, when he still hadn't decided whether he liked me or hated me. But didn't have my new job then, and so I waited too long, and now . . . I can't leave him.

Not now when he finally lets me hug him and tries to hug me, when he still has trouble with Maths and Filipino, when he has scared away his fourth nanny in four years, when his mother is often gone on three-week-long business trips, when he only sees his father on weekends, and when the uncle and aunt he has to stay with with smoke pot when they think he can't see them. I simply can't leave him now.

And I'm kicking myself.

But it sure is great to see him in the afternoons, when he gets home from school, looking happy to see me at last.

Image Source: WALL-E and Eve


mrsdarwin said...

The ties that bind...

I'm glad to see a new post. I'd started to worry about you!

Jenny said...

That's so sad and happy all at once. I feel bad for kids who's parents have to be away so much. I'm glad he at least has you. Hang in there.

Enbrethiliel said...


Mrs. Darwin -- Thanks! =)

Jenny -- I know what you mean. It's a lot of pressure, though. I was telling a colleague about my sense of obligation to him and she said, "It's as if you have a child of your own!" Not quite what I signed up for when I said I'd see him for one hour each day, but that was how it worked out!

Sheila said...

Aw -- that is so sweet! Lucky kid to have you. I've nannied for some troubled kids, and it's true ... it's the "problem" children you end up loving the most. They actually NEED you, you're not an extra for them.

Enbrethiliel said...


That's true, Sheila, but it's exhausting to be needed! =P