Friday, January 27, 2012

Winter Respite

We made it. No words today, just images.....and what lovely images they are.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

God Willing? Why Wouldn't God Be Willing? It's Hawaii!

Bear has been responding to everything lately with "Aloha!" Guess that makes him tri-lingual. Ha.
I'm up early on a day I didn't need to be up early, even though it's a Thursday, because the AK Fam is going away. Far away. Like, up, up, and away-way.

This is the day we've been waiting for - after two failed attempts to get this winter-weary, bone-sould-tired family to Hawaii, we're finally leaving this afternoon. God willing.

I say "God-willing" because yesterday it seemed as if God wasn't willing. Yukon had felt a bit punky after laying around all day Sunday due to a seriously obnoxious bout with a stomach flu. Sent him flat out on the bed, it did. As in, no movement for over 8 hours. See where I'm going with this?

He called me from his office around 9 a.m. and said "Something's not right." He called me again an hour later from the imaging center, then again from the hemotologist's office, where I had sent him due to said "not right" feelings.

Again. DVT again. Unbelievable, and almost, (forgive me friends), unforgiveable. Seriously? The day before the vacation of a lifetime? When I have no writing agenda other than a Hemingway-esque date with a Mai-Tai, umbrella chair, and my laptop? ARGH. But it was true.

Fortunately, Yukon knows his body by now, and knew when to question it. The clot is small, he's on a massive injectable to dissolve it, and now we have but one hurdle left before my blood pressure can safely return to normal.

The flight. We don't know about the flight. He's been medically cleared, has all the instructions, we're flying MVP so there's plenty of leg room, but we still don't know. It's gonna be risky.

But, God-willing, we'll get there, intact and in peace.

Friday, January 20, 2012

From the Wolf Den: Educating and Graduating, or Not

I've spent the day on my laptop, clickety-clacking away in the hope that someone in the Alaska educational field would be able to tell me how to graduate my kid.

Wolf has successfully (or, almost so) completed his credits for high school. A decided advantage to having a child in residential care is the commitment to year-round schooling, because these facilities (as opposed to mainstream school districts) know structure is master where education is involved. So, even though Wolf has had myriad false starts on many a school day, he nonetheless has gathered up enough credits at various residential institutions to, in theory, graduate. But there is one problem.

Alaska is a state with an "exit exam" that actually proves a student's aptitude. While I have many reservations about the whole program for a number of unrelated reasons, I also have several specific questions about how a child who has never attended an Alaskan high school could possibly be expected to take a test about which he knows nothing. Or, at least, not what other Alaska kids have been tutored to pass.

Wolf left the Anchorage School District in 8th grade; moved to a parochial school, he attended September through May, then moved down to CHYC in Utah; after which began the second tier of behavioral health madness.

Nobody seems to have an answer for me; Wolf continues to be the conundrum of education, just as he was for state behavioral health social workers.

Perhaps by the time he is 21 we shall have an answer.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

As if I Wasn't Busy Enough....

It's a tool. Or I'm slightly crazy. Maybe both.

At any rate, I have another blog. Alaska On the Go: From Blog To Book intends to follow my book-writing journey from inception to launch, and beyond. Hopefully, way, way beyond.

So check it out, see what, where, and how I'm writing. Enjoy the ride, it ought to be interesting.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Occupy Wolf

Today my oldest child turns 18. I, like so many other parents whose children are now considered by the world to be clinical adults, am greeting this day with joy and sorrow. Mostly joy, though.

I thought of the People -

People who have walked beside us these past 18 years, witnessing the arrival of this incredible kid and becoming immersed in his physical, spiritual, and emotional growth. You are the people who have put up with pushy playdates, biting, running off, and an inappropriate mouth. You are the angels who have picked up our son from the gritty soil and placed him gently in the arms of other angels. Some of you, I have never met in person. Thank you.

People who have been the cornerstones of "practicalities." Things like school, medical appointments, or insurance approvals. You have been the ones to say "yes" when everyone else said "no." The teacher who spent three afternoons a week personally tutoring Wolf, the counselor who cried when we relayed a story about the circumstances around his birth, the Alaska utilization reviewer who fought hard for Wolf's current arrangement. You believed me. You believed in him. Thank you.

People who have never met Wolf. Not once. But you car for our younger son when Yukon and I must travel far away; you go like mad to keep up with me when I just need to get outside and run the feelings of despondency away; you light candles, pray, contemplate, or simply sit in support of our family. You send me notes, texts, and wine. Thank you.

That's an Occupy with staying power.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let the Photos Speak For Themselves...

The holidays came to a peaceful finish up north in Talkeetna, Alaska. The Alaska Railroad provided the transportation, the Talkeetna Roadhouse, lodging, and Mother Nature, the scenery. -26F did not deter our AK Fam from plunging determinedly into the frosty wilderness that is Alaska.

Just breathe it in, friends.