April 16, 2009
No, my blog didn't get hacked. This is really me.
It all started with an out of town meeting that Julie and I had scheduled, one that Schuyler would find crazy long and boring. We began by looking for someone to watch her for that meeting. It wasn't long, however, before we started talking about the forbidden topic, maybe not to all parents but certainly to those of kids with disabilities.
Taking the whole weekend away. Just the two of us. No Schuyler.
It would be the first time we've done that for more than a few hours, in the nine years since Schuyler was born.
The thing is, that's been in part because we didn't have very many options for watching her, but truth be told, we didn't really look very hard until now, either. Even now, when I think about it, all the old whispers return. What if something happens and you're not there?
What that mysterious "something" might be is unclear. She's not had any seizures that we're aware of, and she self-regulates her diet pretty well. The one scary choking incident she's had in the past six months was 100% entirely my fault, in fact, and it couldn't have come at a worse time, in front of my whole family. I think it put the fear of the "something" in them, too. My mom is a little nervous, but after we talked about it, she was game to give it a go. I'm really happy that she's going to get a chance to know Schuyler a little better; if something ever happened to Julie and me, she's the one I'd want to take care of Schuyler. I can't imagine it would be any harder than raising the nasty little shit of a son that was me.
Putting Schuyler on a plane shouldn't bother me as much as it does. The procedure is pretty much the same as when dangerous prisoners are transported, I suspect. I will walk Schuyler all the way to the gate, where she will meet the flight attendant who will be charged with taking care of her. The flight attendant will walk her onto the plane while I stand and cry like a little girl, and I will be required to stay until the plane actually leaves the ground. (As if I wouldn't be there anyway, my face squooshed up against the glass.) The flight must be direct, with no connections, and the retrieving party must be waiting at the gate when she arrives. Schuyler will be handled with as much attention and care as Hannibal Lecter, although I suspect she'll bring better snacks.
When we originally bounced this idea off of Schuyler, we watched her very carefully to see if she reacted with any kind of hesitation or fear. We should have known better. She expressed instant excitement about the idea and has been asking about it for weeks. Her only concession to even the slightest indication of nervousness was her insistence that Jasper accompany her on the flight. Jasper always flies with Schuyler.
The day we told her about the possible trip, she went to her little chalkboard easel and drew three faces. She'd drawn them often enough that I knew who they were. The face in the middle was smiling, while the other two had tears running down their faces.
She indicated that the one in the middle was her, happy because she was going to see Granny. And the other two? Julie and me, of course, crying because we were sad at her departure.
"Waaah!" she said, pointing at us and laughing.
The next morning, she'd replaced our portraits with a drawing of an airplane.
That's cold, Schuyler. Very, very cold.