Summer Tastes Like Freedom

dance-32193_640School’s out for the summer! YEAH!

This is big for us. Probably bigger (and better) than it is for most households. See, during the school year, Jack spends weekdays at our house and then all but one weekend a month with his dad (who lives an hour away). In the summer the schedule flips, so we will actually get to enjoy weekends and have leisure time with Jack on a regular basis! We’ll get to have play dates with his friends, too.

Not to mention that for the next two months our household will have a break from:

  • Homework
  • Packing lunches (with foods Jack hasn’t gotten sick of)
  • Strict bedtimes
  • Dragging Jack out of bed for school
  • Worrying about Jack going to bed on time
  • Being late or calling into work due to Jack feeling ill
  • The small annoyance of Jack’s teacher spelling his last name wrong regularly (it drives me NUTS)

David and I will definitely be enjoying the quiet time on weekdays, too. With our baby due at the end of August, this is going to be the last couple of months where we get to have stretches of time alone together without any kids to take care of. We will enjoy that little perk of shared custody while we can!

We have an exciting summer ahead of us for other reasons, as well. Jack’s 8th birthday is July 13. His Make-a-Wish is underway and he should have a completed TARDIS console in his room by the end of summer. In early August Jack is scheduled to go to Camp Okizu’s oncology summer camp where he’ll be away from his parents for a whole week – EEP. We are nervous about it and we’re not sure he’ll actually stay the whole week, but we figure we’ll give it a try. We think it will be good for him to get a little independence.

August will bring our baby and a new school year – Jack will start the 3rd grade. And then things will get messy (messier) again.

So for now, I’m going to try to enjoy a little bit of freedom!

Too Many Things

Yesterday involved a lot of things. Too many things, which ended up overwhelming me.

These things included:

  • Cleaning up the bloody nose Jack had when he awoke. And then worrying if this was a sign of low platelets (it wasn’t).
  • Drawing blood to determine ANC (not related to the bloody nose) and running the vials to the lab.
  • Getting Jack out the door on time to make it to school (put your shoes on, take your meds, brush your teeth, do you need a jacket, don’t forget your backpack). It was dicey for a bit because he couldn’t put two words together and walked around like a drunk man.
  • Calling the vet to make an appointment for my cat who has a skin issue that just won’t go away, likely due to a thyroid problem.
  • Trying to remove the nail polish from Halloween and being left with blue-stained nails.
  • Calling the Department of Child Support Services to determine the status of my account, which has seen no activity since July. Apparently the DCSS has requested that the DMV suspend Jack’s dad’s driver’s license.
  • Notifying Jack’s dad and step-mom about the license suspension. In case they missed the memo. And worrying about the (almost for certain) blow-back that will likely occur.
  • Worrying about leaving the country (and Jack) in a couple of weeks.
  • Calling and leaving a message for Jack’s oncology case manager to ask about the results of the labs, which showed that the acidosis had gotten WORSE despite the changes in medication that happened two weeks ago. The case manager was not working today.
  • Contacting Jack’s pediatrician in an attempt to understand why Jack’s acidosis has gotten worse instead of better and find out next steps. Apparently the next step may be consulting with a nephrologist.
  • Letting the home tutor know we might not need him but, hey, it’s early in the week so ask us again in a day or two because Jack hasn’t made it to school more than two days in any given week over the last three months.
  • My day job, but from home.
  • Setting out the rest of Jack’s pills for the week and, then, ordering more.

That was all capped off by a full blown anxiety attack. ‘Cause this was all too much for one person to handle on any day and there will just be more tomorrow.

It’s A Bittersweet Summer

Jack has been out of school for over two weeks now. I officially have a 2nd grader! (gulp)

Since school is out, our shared custody schedule has switched. Jack is at my house on most weekends and at his dad’s during the week. And with this change – for the first time since he was diagnosed with Leukemia in January 2012 – I’ve completed a full month of work with no sick days! And I’ve already managed to get the rest of the year plotted out for work – I’m ahead on everything there.

Not surprisingly, my stress level has gone down over the last couple of weeks. David and I are carpooling, which has cut my commute time in half! I’m not doing the whole rigamarole on Sundays of dosing out five billion pills for the week ahead. Instead of trying to wrangle Jack AND time in the mornings and at night five days a week, it’s down to two. And the time Jack and I spend together on weekends is all quality since we don’t have to worry about work or school the next day. It’s pretty goddamned glorious!

It’s all bittersweet, though. I’ve never spent such short jags of time with my kid before. It’s really hard to let him go back to his dad’s on Sundays. I cried last week for the first time in a while because two days with him wasn’t enough. I miss him and I don’t know what to do with myself.

I expected my house to get cleaner with all of this extra time but so far that hasn’t quite been the case. (Although, I have to say, my dining room table has stayed less cluttered and I’ve actually had time to put the laundry away!) Instead I’ve been spending more quality time with my husband, resting, getting caught up on my shows, experimenting with mandalas and zentangling, and hanging out with friends more.

I’m mostly loving it. It doesn’t feel complete without Jack but I will have him back with me 80% of the time by the end of August and then I’m sure I’ll be dreaming of next summer. ‘Cause the grass is always greener, right?

Clashing Work Schedules

For those not in the know (because somehow I forgot to write about it before now) Jack’s dad recently took a new job that is an hour south of where he lives, which is about 1.5 hours south of where I live and Jack attends daycare.  The commute to the new job meant that he would no longer be able to participate in daycare pick up or drop off, Jack would be in daycare an extra day, and Joe’s time with Jack would be reduced to only his days off.  Since his days off were Saturday and Sunday, this also meant that Jack and I wouldn’t have weekends together until Joe’s seasonal position ends in June.  Needless to say, I was pretty bummed about that.  I’m pretty burned out after work most days of the week and don’t get a lot of quality time with Jack.

Luckily for all of us, Joe was able to rearrange his new work schedule so that he will be working Sunday through Thursday beginning in March.  We each get a weekend day with our kid to do fun stuff and we can keep Jack out of daycare an extra day (which is great for us moneywise in addition to allowing the munchkin to be with his parents that much more).  Good all around and a huge relief for me!

The only con is I won’t be able to get out of town for a weekend without the kid for a while (since Joe still won’t be able to take Jack to daycare), but that is not unusual for your typical parent anyway.  I can totally handle that.

My Brown Eyed Boy

I have dreams about Jack when he’s with his dad.  In my dreams he smooshes his face against mine, kisses my cheeks, and cuddles with me while I hold him on my lap.  Ya know, just like real life.

I wake up hoping to see his smiling face staring back at me.

I am near tears because he is not there to tell me a joke or show me a bizarre brilliant creation.

I laugh when David impersonates Jack.  I know he is missing him, too.

I can’t wait to hug my brown eyed boy again in a few days.