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Creating memories with little ones that will last a lifetime.

Each year, my four children join their dad for one-to-one time on a work trip. It’s sacred time we get to spend together and is affectionately known as their “daddy trips.” Each child looks at my schedule, chooses where they want go, and plans out absolutely everything we do once we get there.

I act like it’s a gift for them, but those of you with little ones know it’s just me being selfish.

From the moment we leave the house until we return a day or so later, there’s only one thing I do on these trips: whatever the request, even if I am tired or not up for it, my response is to simply say “Yes” and then be excited about it.

Several years ago, my 13-year-old son Jack selected The Phoenician for his trip. It’s a resort I’d spoken at many times over the years. But it’s absolutely amazing how different the experience is when you’re with a child and responding “Yes” to fully participating in life with them.

It’s why minutes after checking in we were swimming. It’s why we went down the waterslide. It’s why we ate lunch outside (in 103 degrees) and then went down the waterslide again. It’s why we went down the slide again after that. And after that time… You get the idea.

It’s why a slice of cake was delivered by room service at 1030 p.m. It’s why we shot baskets on the courts and played ping pong and Miss PacMan and shuffleboard. It’s why we took a tour of their cactus garden. It’s why a man who prides himself on working hard on business trips got absolutely no work done on this one.

And it’s why I had the one of my best trips of the year.

Tomorrow, my little boy turns 18. With Jack’s busy school, sports and social schedule I don’t get to see him as often as when he was little. His approaching graduation from high school and launch into college means I’ll see him even less in years to come.

I recognize that every moment with my oldest child is truly a gift. So today, I cherish almost 18 years of memories we have made together as a family.  And I treasure important life lessons Jack has taught me, one of the most important being how much better life gets when I simply say “Yes” to the opportunities and experiences all around me.

It’s a lesson a child taught me.

Somehow, my friends, I think we might benefit from this lesson, too.

This is your day.

Say Yes. And Live Inspired.

10 replies on “Saying Yes”

Loved your story. So important to do one on ones with each child.
Memories they will cherish forever.
Thank you for sharing.

I love that you did/do this with your children. Such a special time. And yes, 18 years fly by, I agree. And as your children get older, they will tell their friends about the trips with their dad.
And I guess and hope that as they grow, it will be more about the special “time” with their dad and not as much as the trip!!

Yes! We all need to do more with family and friends, when opportunity presents itself. Life is too short to miss out! Thank you for ALWAYS reminding us of the important things in life, John!

I just spent a great weekend with my son in Chicago and can certainly relate to this trip.
My son is older now but as a divorced Dad, I recall several of these trips in my past and how they helped me to really bond with him and point out how precious our time together has always been.

I agree, spending one on one time with the kids is memory filled and so worthwhile. I am on to the grandies (grandchildren) now. With my kids and grandies it has always been ‘stay cations’ but it’s worth every minute. John, thanks for your joy filled memory… I’m enjoying remembering mine.

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