We visited some of our closest friends in San Antonio over the weekend. We celebrated the Fourth of July at the Alamo, which is about as much patriotism as a good Texan can reasonably hope to achieve. We watched our friends perform with a concert band and enjoyed the folks in period costumes demonstrating some of the daily implements and weapons of 1836 Texas, and even got to hear (for the second year in a row) a dramatic and angry reading of the Declaration of Independence by an exceptional actor who apparently hates that bastard King George just as much as he did last year.
Mostly, though, we spent two days by our friends’ pool, enjoying beverages and good food, watching the Rangers lose and playing cornhole (be careful if you Google that to see what it is). And, at least for me, floating in the pool. Lots and lots of floating. No one ever actually checked to see if I was still alive, but I wouldn’t be surprised if people were quietly concerned.
This summer, Schuyler decided to join me in my floating, and so we put our feet on each other’s tubes to stay together, and we talked. Schuyler talked, and she had the following things to tell me.
My daughter wants to meet someone and to start a family of her own. She wants to be a mother.
She wants us all to go live together. In Las Vegas.
Schuyler wants to be a writer one day, and a photographer, and an advocate for people “like me, with their own little monsters”.
She asked again over the weekend, and again last night, who would take care of her when her parents are gone. Schuyler wants to know what’s going to happen when she turns eighteen. She is both fearful of and hungry for the future.
I’m encouraging Schuyler to write, as much as she can about anything she wants, and I’ve been letting her experiment with my good camera. The advocacy part she’ll figure out for herself, but she’ll get that. We floated on the pool with the sun on our faces and the world feeling distant, and the future was, for a moment, something we could tentatively face together.
I feel fear for Schuyler, so much so that it weighs down on me, probably more than most people realize and sometimes more than I think I can handle. The future is an oppressive thing for me, but every now and then, with Schuyler’s help, I can allow myself to imagine that it might not be bad, that she might have a shot at being happy, and maybe, just maybe, so might I.
Schuyler’s dreams sound entirely reasonable to me, and I intend to do everything within my power to help her achieve them. Vegas doesn’t sound too bad.
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