I recently realized just how much I really am my father's daughter. And it's not just my love of quotes, Russian literature, lists, punctuality, dislike for the phone, morning moodiness, editing prowess, or even desire to read the weekend edition of the Financial Times (undisturbed and in front of a cup of coffee). Well, that too. But it was something more abstract. My brother Julian watched me with marvel as I tried for the tenth time to get through to a travel agent on the phone finally resorting to the military alphabet: "I said I-T-A-L-Y. India Tango Alpha Lima Yankee." Wow, you really are like Pa.
Being the only daughter of an Italian/American Green Beret was not always easy (push-ups were at a premium in my house). I recently saw a documentary on the strict upbringing of Mormon teenage girls. The similarities with my own childhood were uncanny. But on this special day, I want to thank you Pa for being the only Dad who came to every ballet performance when I was a little kid dancing in the Arena, for buying all my fellow ballerinas their own can of pringles (that makes 18) because I mentioned they liked them, for not getting mad at me when you saw me riding on a girlfriend's motorcycle, for not laughing when I suggested I could possibly get a PhD. Instead, finding it an excellent idea and supporting me one hundred percent (that would be monetary, yes, but not only). For always picking me up at the airport. For helping me take my first walk when I got my second cesarean. Most of all, for being an amazing grandfather to the two little devils! So now I embrace the Pa in me, I listen to Johnny Cash, I ask the kids capitals of random countries on our morning rides to school, and sing to them the words you sang to me as a child. "One hundred men will test today. But only three win the Green Beret." Adding, "You know, like your Nonno Mario."
Happy Father's Day.
(Nonno Mario in his bolide with his grandson Alexander who just summed it up best: "He's sometimes strict but he's really nice.")