I sat in the darkened theater with Cole and his class, and the hour raced by as I kept one eye on the big screen and the other on the little screen of my BlackBerry, which by then was exploding with e-mails from Buff, my agent, and my publicist. Team Syler, as we dub ourselves, was hard at work. Honestly, I got this warm surge of pride and contentment when I thought of my team. I felt that with all these people believing in me—the most trusted, loving people from the personal and professional aspects of my life—all would work out not just fine but better than fine.
I held on to that thought later in the day, when I broke the news to my kids. Cole was sanguine, quickly accepting the news more readily than Casey because he instantly figured out that I'd be home more, at least until I found another job.
"Does this mean you're just going to be an ordinary housewife now?" he asked with a cheeky smile.
I had to explain that being a housewife was never ordinary, but that, yes, I would be around more for now. No, I would not be taking cooking classes. Yes, I would be riding his tail more.
Casey was a tougher sell, and I saw her lips quivering. See, I had been doing something that in retrospect was kind of dumb (or at least short-sighted). Close to bedtime, when I'd be trying to prepare the next day's segments for the show, I'd always tell Casey and Cole that if they didn't leave me alone and let me study, I would do a horrible job and get fired and then we would lose the house.
Well, you guessed it.
"Are we going to lose the house?" she asked, with tears standing in her eyes.
Never before had I so deeply regretted using that adultspeak with her. A child of ten should not have to worry about the roof over her head.
I gave her a huge hug, wiped her eyes, and quickly explained to her and Cole that television is and always has been a tough and volatile business, and that sometimes people are let go unexpectedly.
"Then why do you keep getting jobs in television?" asked Cole in his infinite wisdom.
Still, that weekend was tough. Despite the amazing amount of support I got, I just wanted to curl up in bed and not have to talk to anyone, but we had a number of official events to go to. One of them was a black-tie tribute to actor Will Smith by the Museum of the Moving Image in Manhattan. I borrowed an absolutely gorgeous Carmen Marc Valvo gown and got all dolled up. No one could have known from my bright smile that anything was wrong. While walking down the red carpet and posing for the paparazzi who were shouting my name, I couldn't help thinking, Wow, this may be one of the last times I'll be doing this.
And then I thought, Oh, no, it isn't! And then I realized, hey, what the heck. I knew I was glowing. I knew I'd never looked better.