How do I Know?


To Bonmahon Beach,  Co. Waterford

The little girl let go of her father’s hand at the bottom of the wooden steps to the beach, handed him her doll, and sat down to take off her socks and sandals.

We passed each other half way down and they both smiled at me and said a happy ‘hello.’  They looked so much at home and she was dancing along beside him in her bare feet, not caring about sand between her small toes. The sand was soft, silky and hot. I’d just been playing with it, letting it slip through my fingers,  like I used to when I was a kid.

The modern word for their togetherness is ‘quality time,’ but this wasn’t timed time with quick glances at the hands of a watch or the digits on a smart phone. It was relaxed time; time to paddle, run hand in hand in the lacy wavelets, pet the big fluffy dog who was out for his constitutional with his master.

This was father and daughter time; building sandcastles and memories to last a lifetime and beyond.

How do I know?

I just do because of the way they looked at me with their eyes shining like mirrors.




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

35 thoughts on “How do I Know?”

  1. We can never reclaim time that is lost..This is beautiful a bond that will always be there and a very happy memory…

  2. I was fortunate enough to spend times like this with both my Dad and my Mum… and I always made sure that both my husband and I had one on one time with our two children. They are golden memories, treasures beyond priceless. Thank you for reminding me of them.

  3. What a perfect post. Some moments are never forgotten. Way back in ’02 me and my (then) 13-year old daughter Emma spent a few hours just hanging out together on a hot London day, which I’ll never forget.

    1. Hi Roy, that’s big praise from you. (There’s no such thing as a perfect post but anyway …)
      Yes, there are those ‘hanging out’ days that stick, aren’t there?

  4. Such beautiful sentiment in your post, Jean. I’m so glad I had my children in the era before the distractions of mobile phones etc. A lot of our happy memories were made on picnics at the beach or park and on camping trips. Building sand castles was one of my favourite pastimes with my children.

  5. Missing your posts, Jean, and hoping that all is well with you way over there in Waterford. Hoping to hear from you again soon. Take care.

  6. I’ve been missing you and your posts! Yes, this one gave me a tug. I didn’t have enough of this kind of time with my dad. I remember I purposely volunteered to drive with him to pick up his mom (my grandmother) in a boring awful 1 1/2 hour ride both ways, just to have a little alone time with him (about 3x a year). Not a lot of talk, but the time meant a lot to me anyway.

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