The unexpected reason why this dad is looking forward to life after raising kids.

Every spring, Dan Berman and his son Matan had a tradition: They would travel to the coast of Florida for the major league spring training games.

The training games were an especially fun trip, as fans could get up close and personal with their favorite players. Dan and Matan also love traveling together, and the games were a perfect excuse to drive along the coast.

One year, however, things didn’t exactly go as planned.


The Braves, Matan’s favorite team, had started requiring people to pay money to talk with the players.

“He was incensed by this,” says Dan. “He was into the spiritual side of baseball. [He believed] that everyone should have access.”

So, rather than give up on talking to his favorite player Eddie Pérez, Matan stubbornly sat in the bullpen for an hour, watching the pitchers and catchers warming up. And when Pérez came out, Matan started yelling, trying to get his attention, and asking him to throw a ball his way. To Dan and Matan’s surprise, it worked: Pérez signed one and threw it right to a beaming Matan.

In that moment, Dan could not have been prouder. Seeing his son’s fearless determination, even at just 12 years old, offered him a glimpse into the adult Matan would one day be. He was someone who believed that no one should be left out, rules be damned — not in baseball, and not in life. It was moments like these, thought Dan, that made being a parent so special.

But parenting isn’t just about these wonderful experiences. It’s hard work, especially when you’re a dad to three rambunctious boys.

They hadn’t even necessarily planned on having three kids, but after the second, Dan’s wife wanted a girl, so they decided to have one more. Of course, they wound up with another boy.

With three energetic boys now running around the house, it could get overwhelming, Dan says. “There is always so much to do around a house with three boys that those parts of our history are almost a blur.” The laundry, the cooking, the dishes, the late night homework assignments — it may come with the territory of being a parent, but that didn’t make it any easier.

Even getting the boys to help mow the lawn was a challenge in itself. “I [had to] pull the lawn mower out, fill it with gas and start it to get their attention,” Dan jokes.

But it was important to Dan that the boys help around the house, and that included helping him with the laundry when they were old enough.

"When we give our kids everything, teaching them the basics in life, like doing laundry, mowing the lawn, seem like such simple things," he says. "But these lessons may be more impactful than of the organized group activities they participated in as kids."

Parenting requires sacrifices, too — Dan loves to cook, but he didn’t have much time for it as a Dad. “I didn't do that much cooking when the kids were younger other than unhealthy kid fare.” The meals that are fun to cook for an aspiring home chef aren't necessarily what a kid wants to eat — especially compared to macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, and other kid classics.

That said, there was one thing he could make that they’d eat: eggs. “I am the egg specialist in the house [though],” he says. “I can make an egg any possible way a young boy could want it.”

Finding calm in the center of that chaos was one of the big challenges of parenting, and he didn’t always get it right. But no matter the challenge — whether it was a picky eater or an algebra assignment — Dan always found a way to make it work.

Image via Whirlpool

This May, Matan will finally don a cap and gown and walk across the stage to get his high school diploma. Dan, along with hundreds of other proud parents, reminded once more of the determination that brought them there, the sacrifices they made along the way, and the young adults their kids have grown into.

This will be a proud moment for Dan, but also bittersweet, as both begin a new chapter — Matan is headed for a gap year abroad in Israel, and Dan will be left with an empty nest.

Of course, this change comes with challenges, but Dan’s excited to focus on who he’d like to become.

“I’m ready. I do have mixed emotions,” Dan says. “I’ll be sad and I’ll have tears, but I’m ready for the next stage of life.”

While “empty nest syndrome” isn’t a clinical diagnosis, a last child leaving home can still have a mental health impact, like any major life event. An empty nest can sometimes leave parents feeling lonely or anxious. It can even feel like they’re grieving a loss.

But Dan knows the best way to prepare for a transition like this is to just dive right in.

His advice? “Start to prepare by changing routines [and] trying to find different ways to fulfill your life,” he explains. “I’ve always had other interests! I exercise a lot, I love to cook, I like to go mountain biking and things like that. I plan to just do more of it.” (And now, of course, Dan will get to be more than just an “egg specialist,” cooking the meals that he enjoys most.)

Therapist Jasmine Banks agrees, noting that empty nest transitions can be “really powerful moments of transformation.”

There are plenty of ways to encourage that kind of transformation, too. Whether it’s reconnecting with a spouse, or discovering a new passion, parents can turn their grief into motivation to lead more independent, fulfilling lives.

Many parents view caregiving as an important part of their identity — but an empty nest allows them to concentrate on who they are apart from what they do for their kids. “Use some of that freed space to reflect on [your own] needs and wellbeing,” Banks explains.

Transitions like high school graduation can also be the perfect time for kids to celebrate everything their parents do.

Even the little things — like getting dinner on the table, scrubbing stubborn grass stains out of that baseball jersey, or helping with algebra homework — all had an important part to play in getting grads in the cap and gown, though they can sometimes go unrecognized. While graduation is a rite of passage for teens, in many ways, it’s one for parents, too.

That’s why Whirlpool has created "Congrats, parents" as part of its Every day, care® campaign. By sharing meaningful, uplifting messages for parents of the class of ‘18, they’re celebrating the parents whose work often goes unappreciated:

Congrats parents and grads!

These dedicated parents deserve as many congratulations as their graduating students.

Posted by Upworthy on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

“It’s one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs I’ve ever had. [And] it never, ever, ever goes according to plan,” Dan laughs. “[Matan is] a wonderful, wonderful kid with challenging 18-year-old tendencies. I don’t have any doubt that he’s going to be a success in life.”

While walking across that stage will be an unforgettable moment for the graduating class of 2018, it’s no less momentous for the parents who supported them along the way. And the chapter ahead can be filled with exciting new adventures for both of them.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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