Things My Brother-In-Common-Law Taught Me

Jeff & a giant pina colada

In my ongoing birthday series of Things That Important People in My Life Have Taught Me, it’s time for a birthday shout out to my brother-in-common-law1, Jeff.

What Absolute Niceness Looks Like

The very first time I met Jeff was on a trip back to Toronto for Christmas. I arrived during the day when my sister was at work, but since Jeff works from home, he was there to greet me and right from the get go, I could tell this was one of the nicest people I’d ever meet. And for Christmas that year, he made me a  Flying Spaghetti Monster. Now, remember, this is someone that had never met me before, yet he spent untold hours designing and creating the best FSM I’ve *ever* seen – and which I always get compliments on whenever anyone sees it – for my Christmas present. He also built a spreadsheet to crunch all my financial data to help me figure out the best way to get my student loans paid off and my RRSPs built up. Jeff is the guy that will help anyone out without even thinking twice. He’s the guy who fixes a hole in the neighbours’ basement when a raccoon got inside – and these are neighbours that he barely even know! Jeff is the guy who goes over to my cousin’s place for lunch and ends up fixing their washing machine. Jeff is the guy who spends his weekends doing runs to the local dump to help my mom clean up my dad’s stuff. And he really, truly never expects anything in return.

That One Can Be Talented At Many, Many Things

Computer geek. Chef. Crafter  (Did I mention the Flying Spaghetti Monster? And my niece’s amazing Halloween costumes?). Camping guru. Home renovation specialist. Jeff is an expert at all these things and more! And his multi-expertise inspires me -whether it’s to make one of his delicious recipes for dinner or to craft a FSM of my own!

What a Great Dad Looks Like

Jeff’s kindness, combined with his brilliance at many, many things, lead him to being one of the best parents I’ve ever seen. He’s so patient and such a good teacher and he always seems to know exactly what his kids need when they need it. Whenever there’s an issue, he helps my niece figure out how to solve it – teaching her important things like problem solving, creativity, and responsibility. And fun! If I get to be a parent, I’m definitely going to be applying all the things that I’ve learned from watching Jeff with my niece and nephew!

Happy 38th birthday, Jeff!

  1. i.e., my sister’s partner []