(written on March 2, 2016)
I love surprises!
Surprising someone delights my heart. I love the anticipation of the surprise as much as the big moment itself. And as I write this, I am engaged in a full out “shocker” well under its way to fruition.
The story: I am headed to visit my parents in Florida. They are well aware that I am coming for a few days with my kids. They are under the impression that I will arrive on Friday and leave on Tuesday.
The Twist: What my parents don’t know is that my sister is flying to visit me in Raleigh today (Wednesday). We will have a whirlwind visit here in my home state before driving to Florida with the kids on THURSDAY, a day before my parents are expecting me and the kids.
They are not expecting us on Thursday. They are not expecting my sister (from Michigan) at all!
I love this part. I love plotting ways to throw them off the trail. We are discussing all sorts of ways that we could greet them on Thursday evening. We laugh about how mom will freak out that the house isn’t ready and the beds aren’t set up. But we know that means we can help her do all that. She won’t care, truly, but she’ll definitely have her moment of panic.
I’ve already messed up. It is getting harder as the time draws near and I was drugged up on Benadryl when I mentioned something to my mom about Virginia, my sister, helping me make a salad for a family dinner in Florida.
“Virginia?” my mom asked.
Ugh. I didn’t even recover from it well, but I tried my best in spite of my medicinal fog.
Thankfully my sister has taken to complaining about the finals she has all week as well as the excitement of a friend visiting her this weekend. Our hope is that she threw my mom off the scent of uncovering her surprise.
Then there is the whole issue of social media. We have to be SO CAREFUL for two more days. No posting pictures for the world to see my sister hanging out with me in Raleigh. I can not share my excitement of her being here with my family. It’ll just be our secret.
But we can also use modern social media and technology to our advantage. My sister has already taken a few shots of herself at home in Michigan to text my mom in the next two days. She took typical ones of the dogs, chickens and her morning coffee time. These are ones that haven’t been sent, so it will look like “business as usual” up north.
I will make sure to update my status on Facebook with some complaints about packing on Thursday, while in reality I will be on my way to Florida. I will post a picture of the kids and I at Duck Donuts from today in a post tomorrow. All of these tricks have worked well in the past when we have surprised my parents.
Deciding how to break the news: Then there is the excitement of “how to shock them”. Do we just knock on the door?
Do we text photos to them of us in their front yard? And this year, I am considering doing a live periscope from their yard to see if my dad tunes in and gets a bit confused.
And then, once we have surprised them, there is the whole second surprise of Virginia being with us.
The planning, plotting and preparing involved in the prep work is definitely a big part of the excitement for me. I love it.
But not all surprises go as planned….
(to be continued)