Last night was my last one on one meeting with my counselor at DUI school. It was brief, mostly just to go over all my paperwork and make sure I’d crossed all my t’s and dotted all my i’s. (Oh, and I DID. In record time.)
“I think it’s like a dynamic I saw with some of my friend’s parents,” I said. “The mom yells at the kids as little as she feels she has too, but just enough that Dad doesn’t feel the need to step in. The dad is like the judicial system, and this program is the mom.”
He nodded and seemed to digest that. “The group isn’t the same without you.”
I laughed and blushed a little. “Quieter, I’m sure.”
“You know [name withheld for rather obvious reasons]? I had a one on one with her, and she said she wished she could speak up like you.”
I grinned, and held that compliment tight to me. I really liked that girl. She’d come to class so very brittle, hating passionately the story she had to tell. And strangely, telling her least favorite story, her gentle and loving nature had left the more lasting impression. I hope being a room full of the people least qualified to judge her, is healing.
It was for me.
I felt the DUI sentence like a brand, burning deep, down past my skin. Being in the class, looking around, I saw a group of fun people who had blundered across a line that simply doesn’t lay where we’d thought it did. That reflected back an image of myself that I could once again live with.
And for that, I’m grateful. And for my counselor, who not only tolerated my talkative and bouncy ways, but valued it, I’m grateful.
And so I walked out for the last time, and as the stoic security guard jumped over to the door to hold it open for me, I threw over my shoulder a “Thank you!”
And realized that I had nothing more to say.