I got some help two weeks in. Maria’s amazing parents, out of guilt and concern no doubt, came to make sure their kin were surviving. They arrived late Friday night and started easing my burden as early as Saturday morning. They got up early with the kids, made breakfast, and gave grandparent-kids clothes.
Their timing couldn’t have been better. That Saturday was one I had circled in my calendar even before Maria left. That Saturday was Kayla’s birthday party, one of the boys’ best friends at school. Before Maria’s parents had committed to their humanitarian mission I was concerned about having three kids to watch at a busy backyard birthday party. But their presence made everything easier. Of course they would watch Alice while I took the boys, but the difference between 3-on-1 and 2-on-1 wasn’t the only benefit. I was able to shower and shave at a normal pace without having to worry about what the unsupervised kids were doing. I actually planned what we were going to bring in our go-bag rather than throwing EVERYTHING in it. We remembered the present. I found the invitation and address and we left on time. Everything was going great!
Until it turned out the party was pushed back an hour and our notification was sitting somewhere on Maria’s deactivated cell phone in the Philippines and not relayed to me.
That was kind of awkward.