Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Father-Daughter Time

Well it's Marika writing, the youngest (and let's be honest, most precious) Raff sibling. I can say that over the past eight weeks my dad and I have grown to be as close as a father and daughter can be. I saw him at his best and worst. I was sure to recap my daily adventures in my research lab to keep the outside world present in his daily routine. Not only did I share bits of my day with him, I shared special moments, even giving him a 20 year-old sorority girl worthy nail clip and filing. This task was something that I did without hesitation upon his request only later thinking it isn't generally an experience a daughter has with her father. It made me realize he was letting all his walls down, letting me see every nuance of himself. I will cherish memories like those, no matter how seemingly insignificant, forever.

Now that my dad has been liberated, much like our fellow Israelites released from the Pharoah's bondage, he has settled right back into his old routine. I returned home from a trip to LA to nurse my brother back to health from a knee operation, to find the kitchen in a familiar disarray, only found when my dad has infiltrated it following my mom's meticulous cleaning. Pasta sauce crusting on the kitchen counter, check, noodles clinging for dear life to the side of the kitchen sink and stove, check, parmesan delicately sprinkled on the floor, check.

Happy to have arrived back to Michigan with my dad picking me up from the airport instead of in a hospital bed, I could only smile at this mess and enjoy the nostalgia that resided in me. I graciously got to cleaning the next day and only my dad would afford me that great pleasure twice more in the same day, after lunch AND dinner. Ah yes, I am a seasoned vet at pre-washing, loading, and unloading the dishes. Not to mention irradicating any crusted-on mess gracing the counter top.

As my mom mentioned yesterday, my dad had great aspirations for his not-yet proven lasagna. I was lucky enough to be the first to taste the steaming dish and it looks like we have a new Mario Batali on our hands.

After asking him the level of difficulty he experienced putting it together he answered like a true scientist in a language we both understood:

"It was just like being in the chemistry lab."

" All about following the procedure?" I asked.


The kitchen re-cleaned for a record fourth time in two days, my job here is done until the next pasta sensation from chef Gil Raff.

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