My dad, an example of your life attitude is everything

Today we celebrated my dad, Jerry. Among his many talents, he is a wonderful, caring, and generous dad. A dedicated family man. In my eyes, one of my biggest heroes. A successful fatherhood is something he’s worked hard at developing, and I’m indeed lucky. I remain impressed that his having a shitty father didn’t preclude him from being a great dad; knowing my dad, it probably motivated him to be better. The best.

I think this picture of us and my beloved childhood stuffed monkey sums up our relationship.

The two of us are quite different yet get along famously. My dad is able to get me focused and believing in myself, my talents, like few others can. He empowers me. Always has, always will. When I was a kid, he was hands on to make sure I got up on the bike and took my first swim in the pool. And with my theatrics and the fights I put up, you have to give him major credit. This special way in which he relates to me is still going strong today.

Besides making sure I had basic life skills, his cooking has also been a big influence. This fella can pretty much whip up anything from a full on Easter spread to a delicious Polish-inspired dinner of borscht and stuffed cabbage. He made me a kick ass 10 bean soup for my last birthday (yep that’s not a typo, it’s a true labor of love). For mother’s day he made a phenomenal paella, which impressed me so much I kept saying “dad, are you sure this seasoning didn’t come in a package?!” After being his sous chef my whole life, it’s my natural instinct to put a high priority on cooking for myself and loved ones. I see it as a great creative outlet and so much fun, especially when it gets a little very messy. Note to the world: don’t make borscht while wearing a white shirt because this not the favorable kind of messy!

So this father’s day..in my effort to give back I made him a t-shirt that said “Attitude is Everything” at his request (he’s very particular and has been known to “reject” gifts). This is one of his favorite quotes, and pretty much his life mantra. I also made him a dessert, a coconut and lime semifreddo topped with mango which we enjoyed during our family bbq. He rated it an A, which coming for this iron chef is a big deal.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this sophisticated fella can be a big dork at times, just like me. He put on his new t-shirt and swim trunks (from my mom) and insisted on doing the warrior one yoga pose. He’s not afraid to make fun of himself and he loves to laugh. I love to laugh with him, until our eyes tear up. That’s simply the best.

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