How do I talk about my dad? Well, for starters my family dynamics were set up a little differently than most families: my mom was the working parent and my dad was the stay-at-home parent. My mom was the board certified emergency physician and my dad was the one taking me to and from school, thus gaining the nickname: Mr.Mom. This was very out-of-the-ordinary for the nineties, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I grew up with laundry smelling faintly of stale cigars, more trips to Lowes than most little girls are exposed to, and don't ask me how many times I was asked to hold a flashlight. He was always in the garage working on a house project and my dad would, of course, explain what he was doing as I was holding the flashlight and some of it actually stuck with me. So it should have come to no surprise to me that I could operate a drill better than my first boyfriend. I was the only child so I helped move large objects or load the pick-up since I had the muscles to do so. My dad was also the cook in the family so dinner usually included some kind of grilled meat. (Did you know breakfast sausage can also be cooked on the grill?) To this day, my dad smokes the Thanksgiving turkey and it is to-die-for.
My dad is a very giving person and he took a backseat on his career to help raise me. I think we can get a little bogged down with gender stereotypes and I think American culture can sometimes define self-worth based on annual income, especially for men. But I gained such a different perspective starting from a really young age. And how could I not when my dad would take my friends and I out to Charlie's Chicken for my birthday party in a XXL women's Power Puff girl shirt?! It was pretty fantastic.