For 25 years, my family and I have been going to our lake house in the Adirondack Mountains. My parents bought it when I just turned 16. Even though I didn’t quite appreciate what this summer camp could mean to my family, I did know it was an amazing place to escape to.
Every weekend in the summer, we would drive to the lake. If my friends wanted to see me, that’s where I would be. It was like going on a mini-vacation, and I wasn’t going to miss a single minute.
Over time, however, the lake house felt less like going on vacation and became more like going home. It became my getaway, my comfort and my place to recharge. I felt at peace there. For hours, I would lay on the dock reading a book, feeling the sun on my shoulders. I would spend lie in my bed at night listening to the waves lapping against the shore as the cool air flowed in through my window. The smell is indescribable and yet completely familiar.
The lake house became sacred to us. You didn’t mess with the beauty of it, no matter how bad the decor was! We didn’t care you could only tune in two radio stations, one of them being oldies but goodies, and had no television. That was the charm and magic of the place. It offered a chance to unplug from the regular world and enjoy the simplicity of the lake.
Then my mom announced this summer would be our 25th season with the house, and she was going to throw a party. What a strange concept? Who hosts a birthday party celebrating how long you’ve had a house? At first, I dismissed the idea as novel and decided to just go with the flow. But as we came closer to the party, I found myself pouring over the memories of the house. The lake house was one of the longest relationships I have ever had. Of course it deserved to be celebrated.
The family put together a wonderful shindig — from pin the boat on the lake to singing happy birthday. We played trivia and recalled funny stories. It was a celebration worthy of the lake house.
At the end of the day, I was thankful my mom had insisted on the party. She understood better than I just how important the lake house was, not just as a destination, but as a member of our family. This house had shaped us in ways we could never have imagined. The lake house carried me from being an aimless teenager to a young corporate go-getter to a mother.
Thank you Lake House. I will cherish the memories you created and am excited to build new ones with my family. Happy 25th Birthday.
More from parenting