A picture of us sits next to your bathroom sink. I saw it as I rummaged through cabinets looking for toothpaste:
I was sunburned, wearing braces, and you held a wooden spoon with the same smile, crooked nose, and bushy eyebrows in the kitchen.
You would come home early, I would chop onion and garlic, garlic and onion, to Metallica blaring on your stereo.
We can stir the *** until our hands blister, but something added cannot be removed.
There was the summer we built model rockets, the summer you took me to meet our family in Greece, and all those summers we ate Krispy Kreme and fished.
I didn’t become an astronaut, I didn’t learn Greek, I threw up over the side of the boat, but because you came home early so many days in a row – just for me – that was my favorite summer.
Today, over the chop-chop-sizzle in a broken-in kitchen we fill a stained cookbook with dog-ears, small adjustments.
The same ingredients never taste the same way twice.
We reclaim a day out of years lost. Then that photo by your sink. It was a small Father’s Day gift, survivor of four moves and twelve years of self-discovery, still reminding you – and me – of summers spent breaking in kitchens and recipes we’ve been making for years.