Chapter 13 starts out with “Halloween was always a strange day for Schuyler, or rather for me and my perception of her place in the world.” The author discusses how everyday was like Halloween for Schuyler because of her monster. This year, she dressed up a tiny little fairy (somewhat punkish J). He considered it the only night where Schuyler was disguised in a way, but wondered when it would finally come out that she’s not like all the other kids. Although Halloween night is supposed to be a fun and happy night, the dad was melancholy in a way because he started to see how she was beginning to realize that she’s not like all the other kids. I like how he mentioned “Schulyer was going to be a happy little girl regardless of how much I wept and fretted and tried to take all onto myself.” It seems to me that a lot of special needs children (like Schulyer, or children with Down Syndrome for example) are overall happy people. Although they have a disability, it’s not going to affect their attitude on life, they always are positive and bring joy to others in life. And I think the author is trying to make a point that it’s hard to accept that, but being reminded about the happiness his child holds give him a reminder. Any thoughts on that?
Chapter 14 is a letter that Dad wrote to Schulyer on Christmas of 2004. To me, it was a very emotional letter with lots of emotions-anger, hopefulness, and immense love. Two quotes stood out to me in this letter 1. “I only have one true wish in my life. Just one. I’d throw the rest away in an instant, I’d forgo any happiness in my own future if I could only have my one true wish, and that is for you to be happy.” 2. “I’d given anything for you, Schuyler, anything at all to make you happy and to fix what’s broken and to set you free in a world that you’re equipped to live in I’d burn down the whole world for you if it would change things.” These quotes show how much he loves his daughter and also how much he wishes thing were different. What do you think of the letter?
–Erin Ruppely, SLP at Kennedy Montessori/Central High School