The first day of summer

The obvious followup to the last post was one about the next day. Isaac is now officially on summer vacation. Paige does not think this is overly fair. I have about half of his summer booked with camps. Another quarter or so is scheduled time with friends and family. The remaining time, well, there aren't any plans yet. He can be bored and entertain himself somewhat in there.

One day I might get a better answer with how, precisely, Isaac viewed Hillary in her last couple of months. I remain convinced that in a lot of respects he started splitting Hillary (Mommy) from Hillary (cancer patient) in his mind well before she died. This is likely an oversimplification but I think it's a decent mental model.

I mention this explicitly as last summer, Isaac had even fewer activities planned. By the time summer break 2018 was starting, Hillary was feeling as good as she had at any point since her diagnosis. Most of the acute chemo damage had faded. The immunotherapy, while causing some serious side effects, had shrunk the tumours notably. The side effects were also far, far easier than the chemo ones as well.

All this to say, Isaac spent most of the summer between kindergarten and grade 1 with Hillary. Friends came into town and offered support. We had that two week trip to Ontario and a week-long trip to Cranbrook. Family was always around. I worked at home as much as I reasonably could. Paige was still in daycare so while she certainly didn't go every day, she did go often.

Isaac had more dedicated time with Hillary on a day to day basis during that summer than he'd had since... Well, probably before Paige was born.

I've asked Isaac about that summer a few times now. He doesn't talk about it much. It probably didn't seem like much to him at the time. Just a period of time without school. At six years old, he didn't exactly have a lot of experience with what a summer break was.

Isaac was an active six year old to say the least. Hillary, with her decreased strength and stamina, couldn't keep up without careful tactics. Often by the end of the day she was exhausted and done. As we did our evening routines, I almost always got a sense of accomplishment and contentment from Hillary about these days.

It may not have made a huge impact on Isaac. It did on Hillary and that mattered.