Saturday, January 1, 2011

Surprising My Daughter

Surprising My Daughter

My daughter and her new husband had moved to Dallas.  We had promised to visit and my wife and I had picked a long weekend to do so.

We decided to surprise her.  We told my daughter we were coming two weeks later than we were.

We consulted with my son-in-law about the weekend in question, and he said he would pick us up and not tell our daughter. He did tell her co-workers who joined in the conspiracy.

We and my mother booked airline tickets and awaited the coming visit.

The appointed Friday we boarded our flight.

The day before, my son-in-law came home from work and suggested to my daughter that they clean up the apartment. He never gets involved in that.  Mistake number one.

My daughter was developing a slight cold and he suggested she might want to take Friday off so she could take care of it.  Again, he usually didn’t suggest she take the day off from work.  Mistake number two.

My daughter did take the day off and was sitting around her apartment when she decided to call us at work.

We have a family business and my father-in-law had come to the office to spend the day with his other daughter and her family.  He answered the phone.

Now the thing to know about my father-in-law is he can’t lie.  My daughter asked how he was and asked to speak with her mother.

“She’s not here.  Your parents have gone away and no-one knows where they’ve gone” he said, and hung up the phone.  Mistake number three.

Nancy Drew started putting the clues together.  She called her husband at work.

“Are my parents coming this weekend?” she demanded to know.

“I don’t know what you are talking about” he said trying to bluff his way out of it.

My daughter pressed on “If they’re coming and you don’t tell me I will make your life miserable and not forgive you (at least that’s what I thought she said to make him cave in)”.

He confessed and told her he was picking us up at the Dallas Airport in 20 minutes.

“Not without me” she said.  She made him drive 20 minutes in the opposite direction to get her making him 40 minutes late to get us.

Meanwhile we landed.  No Keith.  Where was he, how could I get a hold of him? We waited and fretted.

Suddenly I heard my name being said over the loudspeakers.  I went to a courtesy desk and lifted the phone.  I was informed my son-in-law was delayed but would be there shortly, we were to wait outside of the gate where we had arrived.

In a short while, we saw Keith and while we were focused on him, Ronni our daughter snuck up and surprised us.

We had a great time with them.  We visited Fort Worth, where I made my mother climb up on a Brahma Bull (we still have the pictures.) went to a lakeside bar and restaurant and spent a terrific 4 days.

The only drawback was our sleeping arrangements.  The 3 of us stayed at a nearby Holiday Inn (my daughter’s apartment was too small for all of us).  We booked one room.  It had a King size bed and a pull out couch. 

Upon seeing the sleeping accommodations, my mother informed me that I was to sleep on the couch and she would sleep with my wife.  There was no arguing about it.  “Have some respect for your elders” she informed me.  Besides she liked my wife more than me.

A couple of years later, my daughter and son-in-law moved back to South Florida.  They lived here for 12 years and have now moved to South Carolina.

Just in case you’re wondering, we didn’t cause the move.

Once again, we decided to surprise her.  (My wife is a willing participant even though she often denies the willing part)

We checked with Keith and picked out a weekend.

We booked the flights.

I decided to do some preliminary work.

I sent books to my grandchildren with a note saying the books were from a “secret admirer” and more surprises were to follow.  I did tell my daughter about the books so she wouldn’t think there was a stalker around and to allay any suspicion about the “surprises to follow”.

We arrived at the airport.  Keith picked us up and snuck us into the house about 10 minutes before Ronni returned with the kids from school.

We hid in the kitchen.  Keith was assigned to take pictures.

Ronni drove into the garage, and she and the kids came up the stairs to the 2nd level where the living room and kitchen are.

First came Jordan.  He emerged from the stairwell.  We stood up, he screamed. We motioned for him to be quiet.  He stood there.  Next came Hayley, she saw us and her mouth popped open but no sound emerged, She stood there.

Then came Ronni.  The surprise was complete.  They all ran over and we had a good laugh about it.

I told them they could have figured it out from the note in the books about “more surprises to follow”.  We were the surprise.

My daughter claims the kids now come up the stairs when returning from school, always suspicious we might be lurking there. 

I like to think that’s true.

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