Friday, January 29, 2010

Escape to Wisconsin: SURPRISE!

If you've never surprised someone before, you've simply got to try it. It's exhilarating. Plan a surprise party, or just show up somewhere unannounced - trust me, it's a legal high you'll want to experience again and again.

Our timeline left us at 10:40, Friday morning, en route to Mom's classroom. I was armed with my Culver's fries, a stealth plan, and nerves of steel. If all had gone to plan, Mom would be in her classroom, obliviously surfing the internet and snacking grading papers and planning inspiring lessons, none the wiser that her eldest daughter was creeping through the halls (torturing middle schoolers with the scent of french fry grease), ready to give her mother a heart attack. My own heart was racing as I turned the corner towards her room; if she had chosen today to call in "sick" I was never going to forgive her.

I peeked around the doorjam and looked into her room as silent as a mouse. Perfect. Hard at work at her desk, completely engrossed in spelling sheets or some such nonsense.

"Anyone up for Culver's for lunch?" I held up my bag 'o fries and flashed my killer smile.

I had contemplated taking a photo of Mom's face the moment I walked in, but a) she hates pictures, b) she'd probably be confused enough to see her daughter randomly standing in her doorway that the flashbulb might put her over the edge, and c) did I mention she hates pictures? Anyway, there's no real way to describe her face. I swear it flashed from "who is that?" to "is that my daughter?" to "oh god, what happened to NavyGuy!!?!?" to "wait, she wouldn't come here to tell me he fell out of his airplane" to "OH MY GOD!"

There were screams, tears, hugs, and a few loving smacks at my arm resulting from her indignation that I would fly into town unannounced. I swear she was a little disappointed that I'd denied her the motherly joy of counting down the days until she'd see her progeny (and her singular joy at watching flight tracker and seeing my little plane jump across the country). But she got over it. And when she found out I was staying until Wednesday, she got all weepy again :)

Mom was not the only one to get a shock though. Once I'd surprised her and seen how much fun it is (it's great for your self-esteem when every person you see screams your name and exclaims how happy they are to see you), I decided the fun must continue! The remainder of Friday was spent surprising the rest of the family...

-Mom and I ran over to the bank where Auntie T works, under the pretense of needing to drop something off for her. I walked into her office like I owned the place and we had round two of shock and awe.

-Next up was Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa bolted out of his chair, and Grandma popped right up and recognized me! (She's battling Alzheimer's so I wasn't sure she'd be having a good enough day to know what was going on.) And they force fed me peanut M&Ms. Gotta love grandparents.

-Dinner was a surprise visit to Cousin MOH's Friday night waitressing job. MOH had no clue I was coming, but her husband was there with their daughter Lily (who I hadn't met until this point), as well as Auntie T, Uncle J, Grandma, Grandpa, and Mom. MOH had her back to me as I snuck in, so I tapped her on the shoulder and said, "um when you have a minute can I have a refill on my water please?" Poor girl almost dropped her tray. More hugs, more tears, and once baby Lily awoke from her nap and got her first look at me, I got a giant grin! Melt my heart... :)

(You would not believe how hard it is to get a good photo of a six month old. No kidding - this was the best photo of the whole weekend. Trust me, her smile's adorable.)

-The surprises kept on comin'. Auntie E and Uncle D were out to dinner at a nearby restaurant, so I popped in on them. Then Mom and I headed out to their kids who were home watching a movie - another successful surprise!

By this point on Friday night, I was ready to drop. All this surprising was exhilarating, but exhausting! I needed to rest up because I had one more big surprise to pull the next morning...


Sespi January 31, 2010 at 4:36 AM  

This has been so much fun to read! I might have to fly across the country and surprise my family next time the husband deploys... :)

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