I am indebted to my daughter Alexandra Lindsey Platt who inspired this
It seems like it was only yesterday I delivered her and cut her
umbilical cord, my daughter Alexandra whose name means "the healer and
defender of mankind". She was born with her eyes open. Her head
emerged, and she looked around with already opened eyes, like you may
land at a new airport and look around, with a kind of "OK, we're here -
let's get on with it" attitude.
This morning she was at my bedside, 12 years old, waking me at 5:00am
to drive her to San Francisco airport to fly - unescorted for the first
time - to Boston to have a summer vacation with her cousins.
She'd packed a laptop computer (a 12 year old with a laptop computer?)
and her clothes in a rollaboard. She was wearing her new
sneakers and windcheater I'd bought her. She positively shone with
The drive to the airport was uneventful. We made light conversation
about transformation (yes, a 12 year old can really get it). We went
over the routine of the chaperone service that United Airlines
provides. I asked her if she would cry when it was time for her to go.
She said she didn't know. She asked me if I would cry when it was time
for her to go. I said: "Yes.". She said: "Don't worry, Dad. You'll be
We checked in her rollaboard and went through security. I made it clean
through, but they really got her. They made her take off her shoes, her
jacket, her belt, and her broach. They wanded her and they asked her
questions and they apologized to her as well, and I stood there
watching her as she stood for all of our lost innocences.
When the fifteen minute announcement to board was made, the chaperone
came over and was really great with us. I gave him the paperwork, and I
hugged my girl. She told me she loved me, and I said: "That's what I
love about you the most: that you love me.".
And then she was walking down the walkway with the chaperone with her
back to me. Her hair cascaded over her shoulders, and I had a warm
realization that from the back, her silhouette reminded me of
Ah! The women in Laurence's life ...
I thought: "Oh,
I'm going to cry ... please don't let me cry ...",
but it was too late. I stood there helplessly, tears streaming freely
down my cheeks.
people did see me crying ... standing there alone at the entrance to
the walkway, a grown man crying like a baby. They looked away,
pretending to ignore me like they were ignoring a homeless person or
someone who embarrassed them to look at.
As she reached the end of the walkway to enter the airplane, she
turned, and she seemed surprised to see me still standing there. It was
clear to her I was in tears (can't stop this flood, now that the dyke
is breached ...), and she smiled a smile at me that men will murder for
... and was gone.
* * *
She called me as soon as she arrived in Boston, and in the background,
I could hear her cousins literally shrieking with delight to have her
there. She said she was OK, said goodbye, and then passed the telephone
to her aunt (my sister in law), and then I could hear her, too, in the
background, shrieking with delight, going mad with the joy of being
with her cousins again.