|Sleepy surprise, Flower is happy that Daddy's home.|
First, let's talk about the wonderful return trip home to surprise Wifey for her birthday. As previously mentioned, I work Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays. A coworker was kind enough to cover my Thursday shift last week so I could head out of town on Wednesday. I arrived at home in Arizona almost three hours ahead of schedule since I was driving solo (read: no kids needing to stop and pee every hour).
So it was 3am Thursday morning that I arrived at my house, instead of 6am as I had planned. 13.5 hours to drive 952 miles is, I'm pretty sure, a new record for me. I had not told Wifey I was coming which, by the way, was REALLY hard for me to do. I did, however, clue the older girls in on the surprise once I was about three hours away. They were still up goofing around and I figured I better let them know it would be ME turning the front door knob so that I didn't get shot.
I approached the front door with camera recording. Once Sis realized what I was holding she went into "Oh crap, there's a camera and I don't have makeup on" mode. I grabbed her for a hug anyway. The Queen was snuggled up on the recliner engulfed in a blanket. I don't know which was making her smile more: daddy being home or the fact that it was her first day without her braces (removed one day prior) and she was happily showing off her gleaming white teeth.
|The girls were making mom a Happy "birht" day banner (lol)|
Now it was around 3:30am and I thought I would just let Wifey sleep until her usual 6am. I confess, a small part of me didn't want to risk a warm welcome by cutting short some much needed sleep for Wifey. That lasted about 20 minutes. I just couldn't wait any longer.
I gave Sis the camera and told her to follow me into our bedroom. I flipped on the closet light out of habit as it is the first light source walking into our bedroom. This is the light I always use when returning home in the middle of the night from being called out to see a patient at the hospital. It is a weak enough light source that it won't wake anyone up. Unlike the overhead BEACON of blinding light emitted from our ceiling fan above our bed.
As I flipped the closet light on, Sis says "That won't wake her up" and she blasts on the overhead beacon. I slide up next to Wifey's side of the bed and lean over her head as if to whisper in her ear. As I was about to speak, she heard Sis's comment about the closet light not waking her up. She turned to inform Sis that the overhead light was definitely enough to wake her up and as she turned from having her face in the pillow to looking up towards the door, I whispered "Happy Birthday."
Being a little too close, she backed away a few inches to focus her eyes on who was talking to her. The second she recognized me, she squealed and flung her arms around my neck pulling me close. She wept and for a moment...time stood still.
We talked for a few more minutes until our conversation was interrupted by a joyfully exclaiming Flower as she blurted out "Daddy!" Flower has been sleeping in my spot on the bed to keep mommy company while I am away. Our talking woke her up and it was pure joy to see her expression as her sleepy eyes squinted to see my face through her sleepiness.
I woke up Boo and hugged her too. She was happy to see me and the feeling was mutual. I struggled to wake Monster up. She was just too tired. I hugged her and told her it was okay to go back to sleep on the couch. She quickly complied.
And what surprise is complete without gifts? I brought an entire trash bag of jewelry home for the girls. I don't think I've told the story yet. The short version is that a coworker knows an Old Navy (clothing store chain) manager. After they put all their jewelry on sale, stuff that doesn't sell gets tossed. Hard to believe at first until I saw the big ball of jewelry chains, necklaces, bracelets and such that would rival any Christmas ball-o-light strings that I've ever seen. I'd almost toss it rather than take hours to untangle it myself.
|Uncle got tired of explaining|
We spent the next two days running lots of errands. Half a day was spent looking at trailers to get an idea of what we might be in for if we ever get qualified and move into a trailer on the farm. Another half day was spent with Wifey's grandmother who had stroked a few days prior and was now in Hospice waiting out her final days. The stroke was massive. Another half day was spent enjoying a goodbye party being held for Wifey and the girls on behalf of their Job's Daughters friends.
I did a few things only dads can do like reprogram the Wii remotes so that the girls could get their nightly exercise dancing to Just Dance 4. I also fixed a second-hand laptop that I let the girls use which had mysteriously contracted a virus but nobody knew how it was downloaded...
I brought the dogs in and rolled around on the floor with them. We adopted them a few months before I lost my job. Neither one is two years old yet. I marveled at the newly acquired skills the girls had taken on, which used to be something only daddy could do, like snaking out the clogged toilet. Wifey tells me it has clogged some half a dozen times since I left.
All in all, everyone is doing fine. We'll skip the horrifying story of The Queen going for a walk while Wifey and I were across town looking at trailers. She was told to stay in the house but went for a walk anyway. Once Sis realized Queenie's cell phone was not answering and she had been done a couple of hours, she panicked. We found Sis walking the main street in front of our neighborhood looking for Queenie. Long story short, after we called the police AND started the emergency phone tree at church, a neighbor found her walking home. There was some reality check for a 12 year old that day. Glad I was there for that incident, Wifey was a nervous wreck.
I have video of the moment of surprise but it will take some editing. I've been working on it inbetween writing this post and it will take a little more time. I'm going to finish this post, proof it and head to sleepytown.
PS I found it amusing that my uncle became so tired of people asking if my Jeep was for sale while it sat on his car lot that he typed up a sign that read "Not for sale, customer's" and taped it to my windshield. Love my Jeep...and so do others apparently.