Secrets and Surprises

I wish to pat myself on the back for raising you all to be very adept at being sneaky and secretive, which was proven for the second time this past weekend. Although I am uncertain when the plotting began, I do wish to acknowledge that even the four-year old of the family has been trained in the art of duplicity.

For Bryce, it began when he announced that the car needed to be cleaned—“While I am at school.” That did not happen. Kelly handed him a bag and had him clean it himself. (Good job Mommy for not bowing to the demands of a child!)

They did not have a functioning dustbuster, so Bryce asked to borrow ours when they came to the house to get some basil for soup they were making for us that day.

I should mention that we have not had dinner with them for quite some time, but suddenly Kelly was very insistent on having dinner with us this week. So on Thursday Bryce stormed into the house after school and was quite excited for both of us to come outside to witness the results of his cleaning. “You will be so impressed,” he told us.

We were not suspicious of any funny business going on, so we headed for the car and were shocked when Jamie and Geoff popped up from inside the car. Dad and I were truly both surprised but more impressed that Bryce could keep a secret than clean a car.

We also felt so fortunate to have seen both our distant daughters two weekends in a row.

Happily Mistaken or Mommy’s Retraction

Sometimes, it’s great to be wrong. This year, Casey pulled off the ultimate surprise which is why I must write this retraction to It’s 1983 Again.  I know now that you were all laughing and snickering and talking behind my back as you read my Christmas Eve post.

Daddy can attest to how melancholy I have been feeling during the past few weeks. I don’t know if it was annoying or upsetting to him. I just was sad about the prospect of waking up without any of you in the house. Kelly, thank you for being nearby, but I selfishly wanted one of those movie moments with a house filled with kids returning to the nest on Christmas.

This is not meant to make anyone feel guilty. We started it by moving away, but then Jamie and Casey chose to leave because it made sense to them. Jamie met her prince charming in New Jersey so she will probably stay and Casey is much happier in Maryland. And when your kids are happy and doing well, then as a parent, you know you succeeded in doing your job and you feel good.

It is just a few days out of a whole year that I feel sad that we live in three different states. But as it turned out, I wasted all that dreary emotion for no reason. I knew Casey’s gift was coming on Christmas Eve, but I just thought she chose Christmas Eve delivery so I would not be tempted to open my gift earlier. When the doorbell rang, I truly was looking for a FedEx or UPS truck, not Casey and Chris.

Casey, you pulled off one of the biggest surprise of my life. (I am not counting engagements and birth announcements because those occasions were not about Dad and me while this was intended as a well-kept secret about us.) My apologies to Dad on not being surprised for my bridal shower, but did he really think I would believe we couldn’t leave his place sooner because he suddenly had to defrost the freezer? It was not like he was a neat freak. Casey, you must know I was surprised because if I knew, there would have been more breakfast and beer choices in the fridge.

So thank you for a wonderful Christmas present, Casey and Chris, and to the rest of you, thank you for helping them make me eat my words. And instead of toasting each other with Sweet Baby Jesus Beer (Yes it does exist and I felt awkward asking for it) via Facetime Chat, we toasted each other in front of my palm tree together. What will next Christmas bring?

Surprise Christmas Day Toast- 2015

Surprise Christmas Day Toast- 2015