My daughter and I, excited to be together for the day, stepped out of the car and walked to the overlook.
We joined tourists admiring the bay, the
bridge, and the cityscape while clicking
shutters and posing for selfies. We took
pictures with the city in the background,
then pictures with the bridge behind us.
Finally, we started the long walk. It was
a sunny day, not too breezy; the bridge
was busy, but not crowded.
Every time I drive over the Golden
Gate Bridge I see people crossing on
foot, casually enjoying the scenery
and the walk; they silently summon
me to do likewise, to park my car
and stroll the length of the bridge.
I’ve long desired to cross the bridge
on foot, and my daughter’s sixteenth
birthday gave me the opportunity. For
each of my children’s birthdays, I take
them on a date. These aren’t extrava-
gant affairs; sometimes we go out for
lunch, other times we go on a hike.
We’ve gone bowling, to the theater,
and fishing. Nothing fancy, but these
dates create space for conversations,
memories, and time together—alone.
I relish these dates; the luxury of in-
dividual time with each child is rare.
For my daughter’s sixteenth, I wanted
to do something that would remain in
our memories, but would also keep the
budget in check. Walking the Golden
Gate seemed like just the thing.
Crossing the Bridge
by David West
How can I build a bridge for my children—
a bridge from childhood to adulthood?