"Make it simple, but significant." - Don Draper
Those words have always resonated with me. Now more than ever because I only have six days in December when all three of my children will be in the same state. There's not much time for a lot of fanfare or complicated plans. Although I talk a good game about slowing down and appreciating the small moments, I tend to pack the itinerary when the kids are in town. Lots of fun moments and memories, but not a lot of time for free play.
Although I know my children adore me, I have some insecurities that as they get older, they'll think it's boring to come visit. I know this about myself. So I make plans. And I hope in the process I make memories.
But I had a revelation this summer when traveling with the kids through Europe; sometimes free play is where the magic happens. Lounging poolside on a rooftop in Marrakech with Jack, sitting quietly in a church in Île de Ré, long walks in Monopoli looking for the fishing boats. And all of my children know how much I like to start the evening in the hotel bar - some of our best conversations have been in that quiet hour before the evening really starts.