Cheri spent the spring at a detention center after having stolen a car. When we visited, she proudly bragged about her popularity among the other kids at the center.
Shirley called to tell us Misty had been picked up for stealing at Butler Drug store. The police had taken her downtown. Would we go get her?
We arrived at the courthouse. The officer spoke briefly to Wilson and then released Misty to his care. Outside on the street, Wilson and Misty laughed together. Disgusted that he wasn’t mad at her, I walked a few feet ahead of them. Behind me, Wilson asked Misty, "Why did you take those cookies?"
"I was hungry!" she said, as if Wilson were stupid for asking, and then laughed.
Too mad to keep my mouth closed any longer, I turned and spat out, "Well why didn't you just walk the four blocks to our house and get something to eat then!"
Wilson and Misty looked at each other and started laughing. I turned and kept walking.
Wilson had been sober in the six months since his release. If you included his time in the workhouse, he'd been sober almost a year. In April, we began making plans for a June wedding. Wilson bought me a wedding dress, and we had a portrait taken of Wilson, Andrew and me together. After the pictures were taken, we stopped at Dairy Queen for some cones, then at a park next to the river. Wilson took Andrew, on a short walk while I waited upstream. The weather was warm, the trickling water peaceful and the trees just beginning to bud. Wilson showed Andrew the ducks, then turned and came back. We each took one of Andrew's chubby hands and swung him as we walked back to the car.
It felt like we were a family.