As the final season of "Parks and Recreation" played out, my gratitude for it has only grown. Not just because the comedy, which airs its series finale on Tuesday, has brought me a great deal of pleasure over the course of its seven seasons. Not just because the cast of "Parks and Rec" has brought a wonderfully specific and unforgettable array of characters to life. Not just because it offers sly social commentary as it generally succeeds in its mission to entertain. And not just because it is finishing as strongly as possible, with a last season that has been both moving and hilarious.
No, the main reason I'm grateful to "Parks and Rec" arises from what the show has taught my 12-year-old son. It's helped reinforce the values I believe in, and it's delivered those ideas to him in a deft and intelligent way.