Thursday, March 02, 2006

A Pleasant Surprise

So, last Thursday for Josh's birthday, my parents were supposed to pop in for a visit. My wife had been stressing and obsessing over the visit for the past week and more and I couldn't understand why. My parents have come before and it is always laid back. We usually take the kids somewhere and then send the kids with my folks and have some quiet time. Instead, she insisted I take the Friday and Monday off and was frantically cleaning and buying stuff at Costco. She got them a case of water and, a Pepperidge Farm snack assortment, and a dozen mega muffins. The water I could see, but Dad's a diabetic. He doesn't need the muffins and Mom won't eat them. I tried to argue the point, but she said "They'll want them. Trust me." You can see where this is going because I'm distilling the clues for you. But with everything going on, I was oblivious...

The morning of the arrival, I called to check in with Dad as they made their way from the airport. L had told me our lunch plans were off as Dad's blood sugar was low and he needed to get a bite to eat before they left Long Beach. So, I mentioned this to him and he said, "Yeah. We were all hungry." All? What do you mean all? "Well, Mom and I." We decided to meet at the hotel instead. They said they'd call when they got there. As we only live ten minutes or so from the hotel, no big deal.

I pulled into the hotel after getting the call and set about finding a parking space. I saw Dad standing over by a van, so I pulled up. As I approached, I thought I noticed a couple of people hurrying away from the van. I honked my horn. They didn't look up. They continued making a bee-line for the side door. I was positive I recognized them now. I honked again. I rolled down my window and shouted. Dad said, "It's no use. He sees you." Two of my three sisters stop dragging their bags and slunk over to my car. "What the heck are you two doing here?" "It was supposed to be a surprise!" Laurie said. "I knew we shouldn't have talked at the car!" Sara-Anne complained. They both looked at me. "Surprise!" And they went to put their things away. So, I went into the hotel to let the surprise play itself out. If Sara-Anne and Laurie were here, that meant Samantha probably was too. I went into Dad's suite and heard giggling. Sam, Iggy, Ian and Jonah jumped out at me. "Surprise!" They actually did surprise me because I couldn't see where they were hiding and they jumped out at me! It turns out the whole clan was there and L. was in on it from the get-go. All three sisters, my 2 brothers-in-law on that side, my three nephews, and my parents flew out together for a visit!

I'll post some of the highlights (and lowlights) later on, but suffice it to say that it was a great surprise and it made Josh's birthday weekend extra special.