I wonder if my dad thought he’d get away with having a birthday and not getting a blog post. Who is he kidding! My own personal superman stands well over six feet tall and has a demanding presence. But, when you have a conversation with the man I call dad, you see how he is a gentle giant…or when in a bathrobe, Tony Soprano.
I am fortunate enough to both look exactly like my dad and share some of his personality traits. He has taught be so much about life and family. Here’s the most important life lessons I’ve learn from my dad.
1. Respect: Since we were old enough to talk, my dad practically forced us to call family friends Mr. and Mrs. Please and thank you had to be used in order to receive anything. You call your grandparents often, never miss anyone’s birthday and show up for Sunday dinner. While we all, including my dad, catch an attitude sometimes, he raised us to respect others and ourselves.
2. Generosity: My dad has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met. He literally would give you the shirt off his back. He will come to your games, help you financially and put your happiness before his own. He loves to make people happy, a trait I know I inherited from him. I have his big heart too, always willing to do for others before myself. Both Dad and I care too much, become over-invested and end up disappointed because not everyone is like us. It certainly is a learning process.
3. Sports: I can remember listening to WFAN, the fan radio station from about four years old until now. Thanks to my dad, I understand terms like power play, ERA and safety but also can throw a baseball, and do well in fantasy football. He had me at games, teaching my players’ names at only a couple of months old. He also instilled in me a love of sports, mainly softball. You could find Papa Crispino in the outfield with his cigar and sunflower seeds, keeping my stats. No man was prouder when I hit my first home run freshman year of high school. Through playing sports, my dad taught me never to quit, to give up and to always be a team player.
4. Music: Obsession with Billy Joel? Thanks Dad. When the fan wasn’t on in the car, Billy Joel, Kiss, The Partridge Family or Barry Manilow were on the radio. River of Dreams was my dad and mine’s first song that I completed mess up the lyrics to. I even made him sing Celine Dion at my Communion party. My dad taught me to appreciate good music, the classics and sing as loud as I can with the windows down.
5. Love you more: Since I was about five, my dad would end every phone conversation with “love you more.” He still does it all the time. He also means those words like no other dad does. He loves me (and his other three children) more than life itself. He is extremely proud of me and says it to everyone often. Despite being severely overprotective, he has showed me what unconditional love is and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Below, I share with you the song “Cinderella.” I’ve never considered myself a princess, but I’m sure my dad does. I don’t know if I’ve ever asked him to dance, but at any and all parties we go to, he makes sure to squeeze in a slow dance with me. Even superman likes to dance sometimes.