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cool

This past December, I was finally home for the holidays, after missing two years of the holiday season with my family and friends in Toronto. In fact, in the past two years, I have only been home for a total of three times and each of those three times, there's been an emerging trend: "When did my parents get so cool?"
Every city has its hotspot -- the coolest community, the hippest 'hood. It's the place where the stylemakers go, where the trendsetters do their thing. It's about knowing where to go, where to be seen.
I feel there are endless topics of anecdotal parental advice I could weigh in on. Especially from the perspective of a new stay at home father. But if I told you I knew the secret to raising the perfect child, would you believe me? I remember specifically when I had this epiphany.
Being "cool" won't make me a better parent, but at the same time, I don't want to completely lose touch with pop culture, fashion trends or most importantly, social media and technology. If I want to stay connected to my daughters as they grow up, I must ensure I stay connected to the music, movies, television shows and books they are interested in too.
Cool means surviving a work day on only two hours of sleep and still being able to laugh and stay upright. Cool means buying jeans one size up and NOT crying about it - but still keeping the old ones because you know, you may one day find time to exercise after the kids turn 16. Cool means being able to pick your own definition of the word and not letting others decide what it means.
Through my sojourns during my recent visit to Kerala, Lakshmi -- the most gorgeous 25-year-old female Asian elephant -- left an indelible impression. It was love at first sight. Lakshmi captured my heart and soul with her intense brown eyes, grace, and pious, but most importantly by opening her heart and showering me with unconditional love.