So, what am I going to do with all of this time? Perched here in my home, I have been pondering this question in all of the weeks leading up to the end, and the week and a half that I have been home. I have had breakfasts with a lot of friends, I have mulched all ("almost all" is probably a more honest description) my flower beds, I have caught up on paperwork, phone calls and errands. I have made plans to be a mystery shopper (surely this is something I could do!), volunteered my services at our church, talked about fostering kids, and made Mango Curry Chicken (who knew that sweetened condensed milk could be put on chicken and be edible?). I have even started up this blog again, and made more writing plans - all good things, and things I probably should continue to do, though my little Chicks were not fans of the Mango Curry Chicken in the least!
But all of that aside, the answer to the question, "what to do with all of this time?", came just about half an hour from little Pollo. Tonight, Pollo couldn't calm himself down to go to sleep, which might have stemmed from the lack of nap today. About 10 minutes after I put him in bed, I hear an "I'm hot." and then it progressed to "I have a headache", to "I want a hug!" all interspersed with shouting, crying, and frantic tossing and turning. I tried everything. I counted with him. I patted his back and spoke soothingly to him. I went in and retucked him in (4 times). I was stern with him from the bottom of the stairs. Nothing worked - the boy was in the midst of full-blown tantrum, and Momma was two seconds away from a tantrum of her own! Finally, I stood at the bottom of the stairs, and was telling him to take deep breaths and calm himself down, when I hear this: "I need you to help me!" I reminded him firmly, "I have been helping you, Pollo." What did the crazy boy think I had been doing for the last 45 minutes? But then I heard him say desperately, "But, I still need you to help me more!" I walked back upstairs, and grabbed his little hand and my worn-out Pollo closed his eyes and fell sound asleep.
Now, my son's English has gotten better over the last 18 months, but 90% of the time nowadays he is practicing his "Spanish", which is code for complete gibberish. And he has never been great at articulating...well, anything. So this complete and very clear sentence, in the middle of rousing tantrum, got my attention. Because those three still need more of my help, and more of my time, and more of my love and attention. It has been so easy to focus of other things over the last few years, mainly just keeping the house and family running. But now, the main project that is going to require most of my time and engagement is those three little sleepers upstairs.