Maybe you have to travel a lot for work. Maybe you take an occasional vacation. Or you’re on the road a lot with one of your older kids for sports or school or whatever. The point is: You’re away from your kids. What should you do?
Yes, you should FaceTime. Yes you should text (if they’re old enough). But what you should also do, even if it feels a little old-fashioned, is send them a postcard. Or send them a letter from the stationary and envelope that for some strange reason hotels continue to provide without asking (but if you need a razor or a toothbrush, you have to go to the front desk).
Write them a postcard about where you are, what you’re doing, what you’re thinking about, how much you miss them. Give them some glimpse into your life while you’re away, let them know that they’re on your mind. More importantly, do it in this form—the physical form—so that they’ll have a record of it. Years in the future, when they think back to their childhood, they won’t remember the phone calls… but those postcards, discovered tucked away in a photo album or thrown in a box, will remind them how much you cared. It will remind them of the connection you had, the one that couldn’t be severed by time zones or distances, the one that took the effort to scrawl a few words and stick on a stamp and find a mailbox, even when every other form of communication was far more instantaneous. It won’t matter how old they are now or how old they were when you sent them, this will mean something. You’ll be glad you did it.
Send them a postcard. Every time. Every trip.