2019 was our year of adapting to life in Sea Cliff and New York, having just moved into our new home the previous November 5. A brief summary of the year:
- Green Vale School: Sydney loved Kindergarten and seems to love First Grade, although when she came home after her first day she told me she didn’t like it because “We have to sit at our desks all day.” She is obsessed with math, constantly doing math problems out loud or in her head.
- School Friends: Having good friends is crucial for kids, especially (in my view) for an only child. Sydney has four or five very good friends from school but I have had a difficult time arranging play dates with them. I used to regularly suggest play dates or events to school parents but few of those panned out. I don’t really know why. Sydney does have play dates frequently with these girls when she is with her mom.
- Sea Cliff Friends: I have been equally focused on helping Sydney make friends in Sea Cliff and this has proven much easier. For the first nine months of 2019, Sydney was best friends with a little girl named Genevieve who is a few months younger but a year behind her in school. Our schedules changed in September and, in part because of that, we do less with them now. We then met a single mom and her daughter Kayla, who is a year older than Sydney, and have spent lots of time with them.
- Girl Scouts: Perhaps the most successful move has been for me to create a Girl Scouts troop in Sea Cliff. We have 16 girls in the troop and Sydney has now had play dates with five of them. I am hoping a few of them become good friends. I love being one of the three Troop Leaders.
- Outdoor Play: When the weather is good, our standard activity is to walk, ride our bikes, or kick the soccer ball to the local elementary school, which has not only a great paved area (perfect for learning to skate) but also the best playground in Sea Cliff.
- Indoor Play: Sydney loves to play indoors as well. Some days we will create a menu of options and vote on them, doing those to which we both give a Yes. Most popular activities are rough housing on me, magnetic tiles (great for constructing buildings), doing plays, and reading.
- Activities: In addition to Girl Scouts, Sydney did ballet/tap, soccer, gymnastics, and swimming. She still seems to be experimenting on what she likes best.
- Dinner Parties: We frequently host dinner parties. We eat with Kayla and her mom Dawn at least every other week. We have hosted and been hosted by the one family on our street, who have two young boys. I have even met two families at the playground and invited them over to dinner.
- My Friends: After 17 months in New York and 14 in Sea Cliff, I have lots of acquaintances but few real friends. Genevieve’s dad Chris was my only friend but I don’t see him much anymore because our parenting schedules are not in synch. Kayla’s mom Dawn is probably now my only real friend. There are a couple clear reasons for this. It is hard to make friends as a single parent in this little suburb on Long Island, where there are simply not that many single adults my age around. In addition, I just don’t have that much in common with many of the people here. This experience is very strange for me, as I have always made a lot of friends quickly when moving to a new city. But, interestingly, I don’t feel sad about it. My life is such that I am very busy when I have Sydney and then I catch up on work, other activities, and dating when I do not.
Overall, we have both adapted just fine. Sydney is a happy and healthy little girl. The two of us have a great relationship.