The Gift of Surprise

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The Gift of Surprise

In 2004, I began dating my husband. I was living in Tennessee at the time and my family was still in Illinois. My brother and mom lived in central Illinois while the rest of my family (dad, stepmom, extended family) was closer to Chicago, where I was raised.

In May of ’04, I decided it was time to introduce my new boyfriend to my family. I took a week off from my job waiting tables and planned a trip to central IL to see my mom and my brother the first half of the trip while the second would be spent in Chicago with my dad and rest of my family. There was just one thing about our trip up North:

My mom had zero idea that we were coming.

We coordinated to arrive in Central Illinois on Mother’s Day and with the help of my brother and his girlfriend, we decided to give my mom a Mother’s Day surprise. We had everything planned: we would arrive at my brother’s in the late afternoon where he and his girlfriend would be getting ready to meet our mom at Olive Garden for her Mother’s Day dinner. Josh and I would wait until everyone had gotten there and make our grand entrance a few minutes after everyone had arrived.

When we got into town, we hit a small snag: my mom was tired and didn’t feel like going out but with a bit of whining and coaxing on my brother’s part, he finally got her to go to dinner as planned. As Josh and I began walking through the doors to the restaurant, I got an idea. I snuck into the bathroom and called my mom.
“Hey mom,” I said. “I just wanted to call you and tell you Happy Mother’s Day. I can’t talk long because I’m at work,” I lied with a smile on my face. She thanked me and I began walking from the bathroom to where I knew she was sitting at the table with my brother, his girlfriend, and her friend. I kept her on the phone as Josh and I rounded the corner.
I stood at a distance, looking at her sitting unsuspectingly at her table.
“Mom,” I said. “Look to your left.”
“What?” she asked, confused. She looked over to her left, and promptly dropped her cell phone on the table. She yelled something and started to cry. With a smile, I hung up my phone, walked over and gave her a hug. She was completely and utterly taken by surprise! It was fantastic. I introduced her to Josh, and she gave him a hug. The rest of the dinner went off well, with everyone feeling great about how well the surprise went down!

My mom and I don’t have the greatest relationship but that memory is something that I still smile about. The gift of surprising my mom on Mother’s Day is the best gift I can think of that I’ve given someone.. Coming in a close second is yet another Mother’s Day surprise; on Mother’s Day 2009 Josh and I surprised both our moms with messages written inside their cards: P.S…. We’re pregnant!

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