by Catherine Van Alstine
My son held the door open for me as we entered the juvenile courtroom when his name was called; after waiting and anticipating this moment for three hours, our time had arrived. Suddenly I was naked, standing there feeling exposed in that cold courtroom with its cement floors and brick walls; everything was hard, as if to tell me of what was to come. In my head I repeated to myself this is an opportunity. For him, for me, for hope... even though I only half believed it and could not muster the needed courage to offer them to him. He lowered his head slightly, looked up briefly to the judge and lawyers with his big brown puppy-dog eyes, and somehow he seemed smaller to me, younger and more vulnerable. That made me want to stand close to him so that he would understand he was not alone, but that would have been a lie because he is very much alone in this, just as we all are.
Catherine Van Alstine, whose full 6S catalog is here, uses writing as a tool to learn about herself, people, and the world around her.