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!

Chill Out and Go Play

I don’t think I can adequately express how much I’m looking forward to Jack returning to school.

If all goes well, he’ll start first grade in about five weeks – at least, if I manage to get him registered. The school year has completely snuck up on me and now I’m scrambling. I really don’t know what we have to do or when or how to make sure he goes to school. I have emails and voicemails out to the district and his case manager at the clinic in hopes that they can guide me. I feel totally unprepared for this.

With that said, it needs to happen. Jack has very obviously suffered from the lack of social interaction thanks to so much isolation over the last seven months.

We had a playdate at the neighbors’ house last week – they have two boys aged seven and nine (or so). They have a tree house and a trampoline and all kinds of stuff. Jack spent a bunch of time digging through toys by himself, arguing about how to play in the tree house, or stomping off in a huff. He wasn’t fun to play with at all, at least not until he got on the trampoline. (Apparently jumping brings everyone together!)

This scenario has been played out many times over the last few months. We go to an event and Jack gets upset at the other kids – his usual amount of sensitivity has ramped up to an all-time-high since he was diagnosed with cancer – and then he is glued to me. Or he ignores the kids from the get-go and instead sits next to me and asks that I look at every.single.thing he does. “Mom, watch this! Look at this! Mooooo-ooooom!!! Help me find this! Help me do this! Get this for me! WATCH!”

No one else will do. MOM has to do it! Mom has to help with games, help find lost toys, pick out clothes, do the bedtime routine, get together lunch or dinner….watch, watch, watch or fetch, fetch, fetch.

This weekend as we made our way to Jack’s cousin’s first birthday party, Jack attempted to negotiate moving the party to our house. He didn’t feel like going to the party and for the second time that week, the park held absolutely no interest for him. Why can’t everyone just come to our house? I just don’t feel like going.

I let him know we would stop by for a bit and if he still didn’t feel up to it, we could leave early. Luckily he cheered up as soon as we got there and we ended up staying for a few hours! For those few blissful hours, he didn’t even acknowledge I existed. I got to have real adult conversations! Uninterrupted! Gee, I sound just like a mother to a newborn who finally sleeps for more than 30 minutes at a time!

Afterward I wanted to call every family member we have in the area and beg them to schedule a party with their kids. Please, family, distract my child! Get him playing like a normal kid again!

I am counting down the days until school – for the mental and social stimulation for Jack and the break from all this intensity for me. I love my kid but he seriously needs to let go of me, chill out and GO PLAY.