Today was a sad day, as one of my son’s best friends, Madeleine, left
for Seattle. Her folks arrived here four years ago when her dad started
law school, and now the homeland has called them back. Robert and
Leiney were very fond of each other — they actually spent a good five
minutes lip-kissing one another during our trip to the Bronx Zoo on
Friday — and we value our friendship with Leiney’s parents greatly.
Since most people depend heavily on instinct when raising their first
child, finding a set of parents whose opinions click so soundly with
your own can serve as a great comfort.
Leiney’s departure is emblematic of a darker issue, though; as great as it can be to raise a child in the city (something to which we’re committed for the time being), not everyone shares this enthusiasm. Last week alone, no fewer than four playground parents told me that they will shortly be moving to suburbia. More importantly, the exodus to leafier pastures has halved the population of Robert’s playgroup, and the diversity of summertime schedules threatens to dissolve it altogether. It’s hard to blame the folks who’ve chosen to bolt for streets that aren’t piled high with restaurant garbage. Being a city parent means dealing with churn. Luckily, Robert’s object permanence hasn’t developed enough for him to actually miss the kids he’ll no longer see regularly. I envy that sometimes.