For my dad’s 60th birthday, we decided to surprise him.
My sister Ashley, Rob and I flew out to Arizona a few weeks ago for a long weekend. My mom (who had, out of necessity, concocted an elaborate series of excuses so as not to arouse suspicions) picked us up at the airport in Phoenix, then fetched our brother Ross at school in Tempe. We stopped at a favorite Mexican restaurant in Mesa to pick up a catered lunch (chile rellenos, tamales and fajitas, oh my!) and headed back to Tucson.
Approaching the house, we agonized a bit over how to stage this. Do Mom and Ross go in first through the garage, then Ashley, Rob and I through the front door with the food?
It was a moot point, because he wasn’t home, having left to run a few errands.
We unloaded the car, started re-heating the food and set up for lunch.
We heard the garage door open. Footsteps.
Then the bathroom door.
It was so hard not to laugh. Maintain silence.
Finally, he came into the kitchen. I don’t remember if we shouted “surprise!” or “happy birthday!” or just “hi!”
I think he saw Rob and I first, and he looked more confused than anything — as if to say “Wait … You’re not supposed to be here…” He cautioned us not to make too big a deal about the birthday — that the day in question wasn’t for a few more days, and that anyway he was hoping it would slip quietly by. Then, hugs for everyone. And lunch!
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