Barb and I walked together after school. An air of heaviness hung over our conversation.
“Gloria, what if they send him to Springer?”
“Don’t worry Barb, I don’t think that will happen,” I said reassuringly, “He’s been in trouble before and he has gotten out of it.”
“But, the judge said the next time...” Barb’s voice broke and tears filled her eyes.
Chuck had been in another scrape with the law. This time it was for stealing.
Barb turned her corner towards home and I continued up Constitution Avenue. I felt sad as I thought of Chuck. Not only was I concerned for him but for Barb. I knew it would tear her apart if he was sent to Springer.
I opened the front door and entered the living room. My books sank into the chair as I laid them down. Mom and Deryl were at the kitchen table and they were in deep discussion.
“I may have no other choice, with jobs as scarce as they are around here. From the size of that road job in Colorado, it might take a couple of years to finish. That would be steady work,” Deryl was saying, as he held his cup of coffee.
“If the kids weren’t in school, we’d go with you.”
“I’ll just have to come home as often as possible”.
I stood fidgeting by the table, only half listening to their conversation. I could be quiet no longer...
“Chuck got caught stealing and he might be sent to Springer!”
“When did this happen?” Deryl asked.
“Just yesterday. Barb told me at school.”
“That’s a shame,” Mom said sadly, “I still think what that boy needs is a family to care for him.”
The conception of the idea took place that evening as Deryl and Mom discussed Chuck’s situation.
“Deryl, we could take that boy. We could move him away from Albuquerque!”
“Well, I suppose we could...but ...we’d have to get custody of him. That would be hard to do.”
“Let's see...I suppose the first place to begin would be with Chuck’s mother...and then we would have to go before the judge at his hearing,” Mom’s mind was beginning to click.
“But, then we’d need a place to move to,” Deryl said.
“We’ve thought of buying a farm in Colorado, maybe this is the time to do it!” I could hear the excitement building in Mom’s voice.
My emotions were stirring. I dreaded another move. I had adjusted to our last move from Socorro to Albuquerque, because at Andrew Jackson, I was able to make many new friends. All schools weren’t like Andrew Jackson. I felt emotional discomfort as I thought back to some of the rejection I had experienced. As the concern began to rise, I calmed it down and reassured myself. This was just another dream. Don’t get uptight. It won’t happen.
Instead of vanishing in the air, the dream began to take shape. The conception of an idea was having birth pains. Deryl and Mom visited with Chuck’s mother and it was decided they would attend the hearing with her and Chuck. If the judge consented, Chuck’s mother was more then willing to have Chuck put in their custody.
“Gloria, this is so wonderful of you and your family to help Chuck,” Barb exclaimed.
Dave nodded his head in agreement. To all of my friends I was a hero. I smiled, basking in the picture of sainthood, but inside I was scared! I was afraid to tell Mom. She would say I was selfish and my friends would probably think so too. If it came to pass there would be many changes...another move...another school...I’d have to leave Dave ...my friends...Childers Drive.
I really did care what happened to Chuck. I decided the best way was to wait and see what happened. The chances were good that it would all blow over and never come to pass.
“It will be just like having an older brother,” Mom announced to Bronco and me when they came home from the hearing.
“Yippee! An older brother!” Bronco yelled.
“Yippee indeed! I felt sure I would awaken any minute, the dream would be over, and I would sigh in relief! Mom’s chatter combined with Bronco’s jumping around proved it was reality.
Later in the day, Barb came to the house.
“Oh Gloria, I just can’t believe it!” she exclaimed jubilantly “Your family is wonderful!”
I smiled in shock. I couldn’t believe it either. The idea conceived, had given birth.
I did not know that this was the last time we would live on Childers Drive.