Wolf didn't call once last week. For the last year, we have known what that means; trouble. Capital 'T', on the bottom of the ladder-sort-of trouble.
Not this time. The voice that greeted us on our way home from Denali last weekend was excited. "Sorry I didn't call, I was having too much fun."
Staying solidly at Level 3 and anticipating a visit from his family with little anxiety, Wolf has, at least for seven days straight, remained in a position of maturity for the first time in many months. And we are thankful.
Yukon and I have tried various methods of increasing Wolf's chances of success in anticipation of our arrival. Not telling him, telling him, offering rewards and/or consequences; it was exhausting even before leaving home to figure out what might reach the boy's consciousness and encourage positive behavior.
We are not sure why or how Wolf has suddenly been able to discern the difference between positive and negative behavior, nor are we sure of his ability to be consistent, but as we have learned over the last 24 months, each day's success is measured as just that. Life for Wolf is measured differently than the rest of us, we know that now, and meeting him where he is will prove more successful for us than if we pushed and prodded to a standard he could never meet.
One more week to go. Seven days. He, and we, are crossing them off with an air of finality, for this could be; please, God, the beginning ,when the sun rises above the horizon instead of settling beneath it.