Wolf is back in Alaska. A bit shaky, a bit nervous, but back in the state he has missed so much. Arctic Manor's director flew down to CHYC last night to receive his paperwork, meet with Therapist B. and get to know Wolf a bit before they boarded a flight north at 8 a.m.
I cannot imagine what was going through my son's head and heart this morning. I do know that he tried so incredibly hard to keep it all together before he left; both Yukon and I (and all of you who know him as well) are very, very proud of him. He reported to me his stomach was upset the whole trip and that cannot have been comfortable for him. Arctic Manor called tonight to tell us all was well, and in Wolf's voice I could hear relief. That's good enough for me, especially since we couldn't be there ourselves to welcome him home.
Wolf also got to tie his shoes today. Most of us don't even think about the act of tying shoes. It's automatic and trivial, unless you live in a residential facility where anything that could be used as a tool for self-harm in this litigious world we live is taken away. Same with belts, hoodie strings, and the like.
When Wolf left CHYC this morning, he was wearing new shoes I bought for him during my visit a few weeks ago. They had bright white laces in them. Brilliant, white strings that demanded attention.
What a liberating feeling it must have been for Wolf to thread those laces through the shoes' holes, to feel the smoothness of the material on his lanky fingers, and to loop with finality a bow on top. I bet he stared at those white laces a while before walking out the front door of a place that has been both is most comforting haven and worst nightmare.
Those shoelaces were more than trivial to Wolf, they were freedom. They were a connection to home, and they were, finally, his own.
Bless him, and bless all of us as we lace up our own shoes tomorrow.
The tie that binds.