Monthly Archives: November 2018

Life in a Hotel Room

Tonight is our last night staying in the East Norwich Inn.

Sydney and I flew permanently to New York on July 31. On August 9th I signed a contract to purchase a house. It wasn’t until today, 88 days after the contract was signed and 97 days after moving to New York, that we closed on that house.

In the interim, we have stayed at the East Norwich Inn. It is nothing fancy, with its main claim being it was owned at one time by songwriter Burt Bacharach. But it has served its purpose while we wait for the house buying system in New York to run its course.

I have been criticized by some parties for keeping Sydney in a hotel for so long. I find this criticism appalling, for the obvious reasons that I didn’t ask for this move and have been trying my best to purchase and move into a house. More importantly, I believe our entire divorce case affirmed Sydney should have two parents actively involved in her life; my participation as Sydney’s dad vastly outweighs any concerns about staying in temporary lodging.

But there is more to it than that. Think about the incredible fortune I have to be able to move my job with me to New York, afford a hotel for almost three months, and purchase a home in a very expensive location. I am grateful for the ability to remain present in Sydney’s life; some dads would not have been able to do so under the same circumstances.

Most importantly, Sydney not only survives but thrives wherever she lives. She loves staying in the hotel and is sad we are departing. On the surface, she loves the breakfast buffet each morning, loves the ability to walk around and see other people, and seems to have no concerns about having the vast majority of her toys and clothes in storage. We have both been living out of one carryon bag each for the past three months.

On a deeper level, I think Sydney and I both actually enjoy the bonding of being in one room together – a far cry from my four-bedroom townhouse in Boulder. It really shows that what is important to kids is not what material goods, fancy lodging, or expensive vacations we can shower on them but what love we can provide on a daily basis.

Breakfast

Breakfast in the East Norwich Inn

Decorating the Walls With Sydney's Paintings

Decorating the Walls With Sydney’s Paintings and Writing

Getting Ready to Long Jump From Bed to Bed

Getting Ready to Long Jump From Bed to Bed

Playing Cards

Sydney’s Art

For most adults, art is hardly a factor in our lives. Isn’t it amazing, then, to consider that kids absolutely love drawing pictures and are happy to draw and paint daily?

Sydney has always been an unusual artist in that she has never seemed very restricted to what should be. I remember in her first year of preschool when the teacher told us Sydney would color, carefully staying in the lines, and then at the end would purposefully scribble outside the lines to mess up the neatness of the art.

Here is a recent example of Sydney’s abstract art:

Artwork #1 Fall 2018

Interestingly, Sydney’s new (now canceled) play therapist showed me a painting Sydney did in her office that she said showed Sydney has anxiety. The painting was scribbled in a forceful way. Here is an example:

Artwork #2 Fall 2018

Personally, I think this is pretty good! I actually do believe Sydney is a relatively anxious kid but am not sure a painting shows this. My response to the therapist was Sydney does all kinds of paintings. Here is the opposite, with a bright rainbow and a smiling sun:

Artwork #3 Fall 2018

Finally, what I find most interesting is Sydney’s creativity. She is often producing artwork well outside the box, sometimes literally. Here is an example of Sydney taking a standard Halloween cat and adding interesting decorations that have nothing to do with a cat. What’s more, she cut out an unusual design from one corner and then glued it back on top “because it was such a neat design I didn’t want to throw it away.”

Artwork #4 Fall 2018

I love it all!