The Sanitsky Family

Photo credit: Sanitsky Family photos

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The Circle of Trust
Never mind that our neighbor Bob Sanitsky is a super-successful producer and former bigwig talent agency executive. He's a major deal to our family because he plays fill-in dad to our 3-year-old daughter Ava when my husband's out of town. I absolutely love the way kids talk to the famous and successful in an everyday-people kind of way. Kids either like and trust you, or they do not, and Bob's a keeper—a solid, trusted friend and adviser.

So in anticipation of taking Ava down to Color Me Mine to make a fabulous painted creation for him, I interviewed Bob about his favorite Father's Day traditions and whether he had any new ones on the horizon. His three kids range from age 11 to 19; together with his uüber-cool wife Ellen, the annual event always includes going to dinner and then a movie together...which Bob picks. "It's usually something they would never see otherwise," he says with a laugh. "They moan about the selection, but in the end, they always thank me for taking them." Past titles include March of the Penguins and Young at Heart. "This year, I think it's going to be Babies, a documentary about four babies from different cultures around the world."

Bob's been given some priceless gifts throughout the years: bookmarks, mugs, money clips, frames and the requisite pile of really horrible ties. He loved them all, of course, but is mostly looking forward to card unveiling this year. When I asked his daughter Mia what she is going to write on her card, she answered, "I want to him to know that I appreciate him, and that he can trust me to become the person he raised me to be: a good person just like him and my mom." When I asked her if she knew that was probably every parent's dream, she said, "Really?" Yes. Really. And all the dads I spoke with said homemade cards were the number one gift they were looking forward to!

Bob's new tradition: Don't spill the beans, but he's decided to turn the tables on the kids and get them a gift for Father's Day. At first I didn't get it, but then I remembered a friend of mine who sends her mother flowers on her own birthday, saying, "Thank you for giving birth to me!" So the new tradition begins with the words, "I love being your dad," and I know the kids are gonna love this one.

5 more ways to make Father's Day extra special this year
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