Sitting in church last Sunday, the bracelet I wore was a bit noisy as it rattled and clinked against the pews and hymn books. The charm on the bracelet is a heart with some tiny white beads inside, and was given to me to honor women who have battled breast cancer. Inside the heart were words I had not bothered to read before. Three words, making a statement so simple and eloquent for me in this stage of Wolf's absence.
The day before, Yukon, Bear and I had gone to REI's Fall Sale to stock up on a few things. Ambling through the bike section, I came fact-to-face with the physician (learning disabilities specialist, M.D.) that intruduced Yukon and I to the concept of Asperger Syndrome. She was also the one who told us, before we switched providers, that residential treatment options "rarely work".
Surprised to see her, I asked how she was, and she responded in kind, inquiring as to our family's health and welfare. I mentioned Wolf's enrollment in CHYC, and was met with an unnerving, "Ohhhhhh, is he?"
Granted, I should have known this would be the reaction, and should have known that eventually, somebody somewhere was going to not agree with our decision to place Wolf at a residential facility. I just wasn't expecting it to come in the middle of cycling apparel at REI. I began to doubt, and it bothered me the rest of the day, all night, and into the next morning as I perched on my pew at church.
"Trust Your Journey", said the words. Just like that.
Trust that Wolf's physical needs as a growing young man are being met. That his shoes fit, his teeth are brushed, and his never-full stomach is satisfied.
Trust that his emotional needs are met as an immature child lives far away from home and is asked to cope with a living situation most of us did not confront until we left for college much, much later in our teen years.
Trust that we as a family will use this time as an opportunity, not a vacation, from the difficult days leading up to Wolf's admission to CHYC, for the four of us to collaborate and grow in our knowledge and support of all children who live day after day with Asperger Syndrome.
Trust that I know what I did, and I know what I am doing as best for my family.
Trust in Wolf himself to believe, achieve, and perservere through his own personal journey while at the same time preparing himself to return home to a new setting with new boundaries.
When I was first learning the art of directional way-finding, my dad always taught me to trust my compass, especially when climbing tricky Mt. Hood. Many people, he said, tried to find their own way down, following what they thought was the natural curve down to the lodge. They ended up way west, in a deep canyon of snow and wind. The compass, my wise father said, will not lie. Trust it.