My Mom turned 60 on October 13th, and my dad planned an elaborate surprise party for her with all of us kids. Without her finding out, he flew all of us home. My brother Art, his wife Agnieszka, and their son Ben came in from Washington DC. My little brother Frankie (Frankie Propane to you loyal followers of the blog) flew in from New York. Even my beautiful little sister, Daisy, made it from North Carolina. The plan was for all of us to fly in the night before and meet the next evening at the party location. He arranged for the party to be at a woman’s house who gave Indian food cooking lessons. We arrived the day before the party and stayed at my Uncle Byron and Aunt Tina’s house where we proceeded to catch up on all the on-demand shows we missed and raided both their fridge and pantry (thanks again guys!). The day of the party we met at the house with all the siblings, uncles, aunts, and even Agnieszka’s parents.
My dad pretended to be taking my mom out to a fancy dinner and said he just had to stop for a minute at a client’s house to drop off some papers. When they arrived at the house (I never asked how he convinced her to get out of the car) everyone was there to surprise them and my nephew handed her birthday balloons. Shannon and I were hiding in one of the back rooms and once she composed herself from the surprise my dad said, “Shannon and Ted are online waiting to Skype with you from Panama”, as this was our main means of communication so far. We called her on Skype from the back room pretending to be in Panama, and when she noticed we weren’t on the boat we told her that we were “at a party”. We asked my sister to hand her a birthday card which we had “sent from Panama”. She opened the card which we inscribed with the message, “Happy 60th Birthday Mom. Sorry we don’t have the money to buy you something this year, so we had to make you a present” and enclosed the picture of the sonogram of our little baby.
Shannon is 13 weeks pregnant (8 weeks at the time of this story), and this is how the whole family found out. My mom began to cry and no one else knew why as we had not told anyone else either. As they were all just seeing the sonogram, we had my nephew Ben come back to the room we were in (all part of my Dad’s plan). He sat on my lap where my mom could see him on Skype. We thought she would take a second of confusion to figure it out, but she immediately knew what this meant and we went to meet and hug her. After hugging everyone and getting all the pats on the back, we had a champagne toast and sat down for our Indian food lesson. The woman whose house we were in tried her best, but it was hard to get us all to pay attention with all the excitement of the night, but she understood and continued to cook whether or not we were looking. The food turned out amazing, and we all had a night to remember.
We purposefully didn’t tell any of our friends that we were going to be home, first of all because we wanted to spend the whole time with family and second of all because we knew that more than likely we would be coming home for good very soon. We had a really great time with the family and it actually made us miss Miami (did I really just type that?!).