I could taste Chicago in every single flake of snow that drifted through the crisp air. Everything was right -- except for the reason I was standing there. I was heading to my father's home in town -- where he passed away during the night.
We need to stop talking about dads like they're an inept accessory to parenting. Sure, there are plenty of deadbeat dads in the world. Equally, there are plenty of deadbeat moms. But the good dads need to be part of our language of parenting.
Dogs and kids are both innocent, helpless, vulnerable and rely solely on us for absolutely everything. They love, trust, whine, have needs and should be treated with love and respect. Sadly, both are victimized daily by our species.
I hated feeling powerless. As if there was nothing I could do to positively affect anything in the universe, let alone my dad's pain and suffering. Yet that's exactly how I felt as I stood beside my ailing father's bedside after his stroke.
In an instant, that dad saw me, who I was, and how I choose to move through the world. It was important to him that his son really see me, too. He taught his son to notice a person's actions and to place more importance on what they do and how they act than on their appearance.
Dear fellow parents -- this is crazy. There are so many better ways to spend $50 of your hard-earned money than on powerball tickets. Many involve buying yourself some much-needed family time. Here are the first 23 that come to mind.
I've been asked by men and women, young and old, acquaintances and strangers and family and friends. In intimate settings and public forums. By medical professionals (with no regard to my health), cabbies and cashiers.