A few uplifting and positive moments from Wolf this past week...
One was the phone call right in the middle of the big birthday party; 40-some of our closest friends all gathered in our house when Wolf called to say hello (never mind he forgot it was my birthday, at least he called). The phone was passed from family to family upstairs and downstairs, giving Wolf a definite sense that he is not forgotten back in Alaska.
The second moment of joy came at 6:15 on Saturday morning. We neglected to answer the phone, thinking it another political call (those pollsters just can't seem to figure out the time change from East to AK). After listening to the voice mail and realizing who it came from, I called back around 10 a.m., hoping nothing was wrong.
"I made Shining!" was the report from Wolf. Shining is the level at which students are able to go on outings, use the MP3 player, and generally live as normal teenagers, provided they behave as such through their weekly contracts.
I can only imagine the feeling as Wolf, after a few months in one place, was able to board the school van and go downtown to see the BodyWorks exhibit at the museum, and later go hiking in the Wasatch mountains. He told me the air smelled like home, and the sun was out.
I spoke with the Unit Director today and she echoed my impressions that Wolf seemed to be genuinely trying to accomplish his goals, not just the Level status. Perhaps a little taste of the world outside school boundaries has given him some incentive.
Our family visit in December, too, is foremost in his mind. He knows that Bear and Yukon will be accompanying me, and he desperately wants to be able to leave the school to do things with us, and we with him.
If you are of the praying sort, now would be a good time to do so. Hope is a wonderful thing, so tied into happiness. So fragile, too.