Last Saturday was my birthday. It was one I’d rather not broadcast…yes, it was one of the biggies. I’ve entered a new decade of my life and I’m proud to be here. Many people don’t make it. But like I said…I’d just rather not make a to-do about it. Just let me slip on in and keep it to myself. I’ve done a great job so far, even keeping my husband in the dark….well… in the shade, at least. Not any more. Nope. My sweet children decided I needed to celebrate. And they wanted it to be a surprise.
It almost was. That is, until Stella decided she needed a day off from school on Thursday. It’s hard being a 2nd grader. Sometimes you just need some NaaNaa time. I had errands to run. The tummy ache she claimed to have seemed to dissipate as soon as the “last bus ran.” Imagine that. So we made the rounds. I’m working on my Mother’s Kitchen Makeover (coming soon) and I was looking for a centerpiece. Stella is a great little shopper. We love the antique mall and goodwill and yard sales….fun.
In the middle of this journey, I mentioned to Stella that this Saturday she would be ‘crowning’ the new 1st grade winner of the school pageant. Stella won last year. That’s when the beans came out. Stella said she wasn’t going to crown…that she had it all worked out for the first runner up to crown, because she’d “…rather go to my party….because family is more important than beauty pageants.”
Yep, the one I didn’t know about.
Later my daughter asked if I had talked to my son…I hadn’t. I asked her what was going on….just a little family get together. Ok, that is fine. Family. Then my husband came home and I asked him what was going on….he said family and friends. They sent invitations. OMG. To whom? He didn’t know but friends I’ve known through the years. It was all the kids’ idea and they were handling it. Great.
Then, I asked where they holding this party? That was when I received the shock heard around the block. They were giving me a surprise party at my house. My house??? You have got to be kidding me!
I had brought my mother’s furniture home to my house to refinish this week. I’d been working on her furniture all week on my porch. Sanding, priming, painting, staining. varnishing…..endless steps to refinishing her table and chairs. My house had been totally neglected while I worked on this project. Now I find out there’s going to be a party here in about 36 hours. And people are coming…not just family.
I was not happy. I don’t like surprises. Some people do, I don’t. Not unless it involves diamonds or cars…those surprises are fine. My house was a wreck. My porch was a wreck. My yard had pecan leaves everywhere. I wasn’t happy.
My children were blowing up their cell phones with word that I was worried. They thought it was funny. They sent someone to clean my house. They sent a man by to do my yards. I was feeling a little better….still. We moved the furniture to a storage building. They cleaned and cleared away things to their proper places.
My children wanted to give their mama a party and somehow I was going to find a way to be happy about it. They love me. My husband reminded me how blessed I am. How many parents are there who just wish their child would call them on their birthday??? Mine wanted to give me a party. It was a precious thing to do.
I should have known better than to worry. When it was over, it turned out to be the most pleasant and delightful luncheon ever. And the friends they invited were closest friends, who I would have invited myself. The kids said they knew me and knew what I liked. Small. Close. Friends. Family.
The guys decorated the tables. That’s never happened before! I was impressed! That was the first indication that it was going to be okay. The tables were beautiful.
My youngest son made my French Onion Soup. I can’t imagine peeling and cutting up 9 pounds of onion! Then they found a salad recipe that called for pomegranates. They knew I would like that…and they were right….it was perfect. My daughter made the salad and tea. Garlic bread rounded out the meal and German Chocolate Cake was dessert. All my favorites. Totally delicious. It was a labor of love.
The children and grandchildren waited on me and my family and friends. They made me so proud…every one of them. And when it was over….they cleaned everything up, washed all the dishes and put everything away. What more could a mama ask for?
You know, Jesus said not to worry. And I shouldn’t have. I’m one blessed mama.
It was the best party I’ve ever had in my life…so far.
I’m wondering if I’m the only one who cringes at the thought of a surprise party? How do you handle surprises? Do you mind being in the dark about things? Or is it just me?