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Chocolate noses cure for modern life

by Chris Jakubowicz

Sometimes getting back to our grassroots as human beings can be the difference between chocolate noses and staring blankly at a TV or computer screen wondering where our life went.
Somewhere in between is a balance we all need to function.
Chocolate noses?
Let me explain.
I was able to get back to the root of things the other day. My wife and I each took one of our two kids out on separate “dates” to start a new tradition and re-connect with them. In choosing to show our kids their importance in our lives now, we hope to sprout some fruit from our labors somewhere in the future.
While my wife escorted our 9-year-old son on a date, while I was privileged enough to take my 6-year-old daughter out. Blonde-haired and big beautiful blue eyes, ambitious as a young business tycoon, she was raring to go out and spend some time with Daddy.  That is, as long as there were animals involved. My daughter is an outdoor, animal-loving maniac. Trust me, maniac is not too strong of a word when it comes to my little girl and animals.
Needless to say it was Saturday, it was going to be a high of Polar Express cold outside, and she wanted to go up to Carl Sandburg’s home and see the goats. Nothing else.
No toy store, no shopping of any kind. Throw all other Daddy ideas out the door – we must go where the goats are. After getting off of my knees in my groveling stance, I gathered my composure and agreed that I would take her up to Flat Rock, in the midst of snow flurries, to see the precious little goats.
God must really love me because the gates at the Carl Sandburg home were closed.  Shucks and darn.
I improvised after the letdown and we made a date of it anyway. I bought her some hot chocolate (a real Willy Wonka moment for her), took her to a toy store (always have a plan B) and went to her second favorite place this side of heaven – the pet store.
I’ve been edgy lately with the busy life that we live.
Seeing her with parrots on her shoulder and kittens purring did the trick. My wife and I both work, come home and cook dinner, clean up, attempt household chores, take care of kids, run the errands, etc. I really just wanted some “me” time.
I was as sidetracked as a locomotive trying to choo-choo with no rails to ride on.  It took a date with my daughter to cause me to stop in my tracks.
Pressures of life can really de-rail you from what’s really important. Stepping away from those insignificant pressures can ground you in what really matters in your life. Seeing the smile on a child’s face when she’s holding a hot chocolate, or a furry little bunny rabbit, fails in comparison to any of the worldly cares I may have when I get home.  Those cares only take up space in my heart and head that should be reserved for family, and the thankfulness of the present moment.
Getting down to the grassroots of life pushes us further from what the world deems important and closer to what really is.  Maybe what really matters is a little child cupping a hot chocolate in her hands with a quirky little smile on a her face taking sip after delicious sip. And then she looks up at you with a chocolate brown nose and a chin dripping with brown ooze and says, “That’s so good Daddy!”
If she only knew.

Chris Jakubowicz lives in Columbus with his wife and children. His bi-weekly column will focus on how he and his family are trying to get back to their grassroots.