It's official; come June 12 the Family Kirkland will be together for the first time in two years. How do we feel? Elated, terrified, and apprehensive, all three.
We informed Wolf this morning during the Hour of Power, and starting now he and Therapist B will begin the process of reintroducing Wolf to his little brother, and vice versa. A lot has changed in two years, and both boys need a head start from their respective locales to become acquainted all over again.
From Bear's perspective, his mind perceives a Wolf before puberty put hair on his legs, baritone in his voice, and inches on his height. The Wolf who walked out the door two years ago was someone else, and it is quite likely Bear will neither recognize nor relate to the brother he will see in a few weeks. Yukon and I, in cooperation with CHYC, are working with him towards this moment.
Wolf, too, must adjust his thinking to include a more mature and increasingly analytical Bear. Able to think and speak for himself at almost six, Bear holds nothing back when it comes to honesty and interrogation of all he sees, hears, and feels, which could prove uncomfortable for an older brother (not to mention other students at the school) who is unaware and/or uncaring of his personal appearances, mannerisms, and occasional potty-mouth.
Our strategy is to exercise both boys to utter exhaustion in an effort to curb anxiety on everyone's part. Hiking, the zoo, the Pioneer Park, swimming; Yukon has an intinerary worthy of Disney.
There is a difficult part, however. As of today, Wolf was qualified to leave the school on outings. This is as high a level he has achieved in quite some time. If he keeps the "wheels on the bus" and maintains his level, he will be able to go with us. If not, we are no doubt going to have to do some damage control on the part of all parties. Yes, we are using Bear as an incentive. We know it, Therapist B. knows it, and we all know we have to do it. And we're going to have to hold steady if, by some chance, Wolf's wheels fall off and roll away.
We will keep every ounce of optimism focused between now and June 12 on Wolf and our visit, and the fact that he can indeed, when it comes right down to it, succeed. If he wants to bad enough. And we are doing everything we can to help him want it. Bad enough.