December 7, 2009
It was a fun trip, despite the efforts of the TSA at the Raleigh-Durham Airport to ruin our return trip. (TSA Agent to Schuyler: "What's your name?" Schuyler: "Aye-er." Me: "Her name is Schuyler." TSA sarcastically, to Schuyler: "What, you can't talk or something?" Schuyler and I both: "No...") I never mind traveling with Schuyler, and she's got more patience for the inevitable inconveniences of flying than any adult I know.
She loves a rough flight, so when everyone else is white-knuckling, she's laughing her little head off. True story: When she asked me what was causing the plane to bump around, I told her it was a monster, because I'm that guy. She loved that answer, because she's that girl, and asked me the monster's name. "It's the Turbulence Monster," I said. Not five seconds later, the captain came on and apologized for the turbulence, and when he said the word, she looked at me in wonder and joy as if what I'd said just might be true. Thanks, captain, for that unexpected credibility.
It's funny, but in so many ways, I am reminded on a trip like this most of all that Schuyler is growing up, and into the young woman that I always wanted her to be. Happy, chaotic, funny, in love with everyone and afraid of nothing.
I had a realization today, something of an epiphany, really. It's one that I started to have, very tentatively, when I was writing the book, and I even wrote about it at the very end, although whether or not I always believed it is probably debatable. Today I realized that Schuyler is at a point in her life where there's no turning back. She's going to make it. She's not there yet, and not even close, but she knows what she has to do to get there, and there's a whole village of people watching her who literally will not allow her to get lost or fall through the cracks now.
I think I can see now that if something were to happen to me today, Schuyler would be okay. And that means the whole world to me.