On Life

Conversations with My Daughter: A Special Place

The path to the secret spot.

This weekend, I had the delightful opportunity to go home and spend the weekend with my parents and my daughter. My son and husband were entertaining friends from North Carolina—a boys weekend—full of baseball, baseball cards, laser tag, and lots of good eats.

The Barn: Where we held our wedding reception.

It is always a pleasure to go home. In fact, I relish it. I call it “a little mini-vacation.” My parents have a beautiful yard, live two blocks from the water, and have a pool and Jacuzzi. Additionally, their neighborhood sports two boat docks, and one beach area that sits on the Magothy River, replete with a playground, picnic tables, and volleyball. There are also tennis courts and a community pool in the neighborhood, as well as a barn that functions as both a barn for horses, and the upstairs two rooms of the barn serve as banquet space. My husband and I held our wedding reception there. Additionally, my parents are excellent company. It’s all very chilled and relaxed.

Yesterday afternoon, I said to my daughter, “Do you want me to take you down to the beach?”

“Yes!” she said excitedly. We hadn’t been down to the beach area in a while.

She put her sneakers on and we abducted some bread from my mother’s pantry, just in case we came across any ducks to feed.

My daughter had a ball. We swung on the swings. She climbed the monkey bars, climbed the rocks at the point, and even attempted to go across the rainbow climber, which has always gotten the better of her.

“Someday I’ll get across it,” she said.

When no ducks were in sight, I asked her if she wanted to go visit “the secret path.”

“What secret path?” she asked.

“The one that only people who live here know about. Come on. I’ll show you,” I said.

We made our way to the secret path, a little common area between two waterfront homes on the river. You wind down through the trees to a little stone patio area, and to the left of it, is a very, very small beach. Once there you can find a small stretch of sand and tiniest waves roll in, especially when a boat goes by.

The secret spot.

You would have thought my daughter found gold.

“Wow! Mommy! This place is cool!”

“I know,” I said. It is super cool.

“Is this where you used to come when you were little and grew up here?”

“No. This wasn’t around then. I used to go to a little secret place over by Dock 1. But Daddy and I had planned on having our wedding photos taken here, but it rained on our wedding day, so we didn’t do it.”

“Oh,” she said, thinking about that. “But you had a little secret place, right?”

“Of course,” I said. “Everyone needs a little secret spot to call her own.”

“I’ll take this one,” she said.

I hope she does. I hope it’s a special place that she’ll always remember; and I hope she’ll remember that I showed it to her on our girls weekend away from the boys.

We had dipped our toes in the very warm water, and had a heart to heart, before going home for dinner. I gave her a piggyback ride up the path because her feet were wet, as the path is covered in stones and broken shells.

“I’m so glad you showed that to me, Mommy,” she said. “I’m so glad we did that.”

As am I. You’ll never know how glad.

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