This story was written towards the end of the summer in 2015, just a few months after we moved from Brooklyn to the suburbs. We knew nothing about our new town before moving here, except that the few people we met who'd heard of it said it was great for families. Low crime rate, excellent schools, people moved here just to raise their kids. Sounds good, right?
But we didn't really know anyone in the town when we moved. The kids were not going to camp. We didn't have a babysitter. No daycare. Because our former landlord screwed us over, we could not afford to join the town's community pool. So that meant a summer of just me and the kids finding things to do for nine weeks. We discovered a nearby skate park and my older son picked up skate boarding. We joined the nearby science center. I let the kids ride their bikes in the street. I set up kiddie pools in the backyard. None of this kept my kids amused for very long, and by the time the first day of school arrived in September I wept with relief.
I had this idea that when we moved in, suddenly families with kids would pour out of their houses on our street and my kids would be outside playing all day every day all summer long, but instead we met almost no one.
Things have changed, certainly. We have friends in town, the kids have plenty of play dates, we have babysitters, we've joined the community pool in the summer, and we know which camps the kids like. Our summers are now full of friends, camp, vacations, and spending long afternoons socializing poolside. But that first summer is burned into our psyches: long, empty days full of quiet and boredom. And that's where this story comes from.