My mother is celebrating her 80th birthday this weekend and I’m in Montreal for the special occasion. She had no idea I’d be coming and, to ensure word didn’t get out, I kept my travel plans under my hat, not even breathing a word about it on this blog (I mean, face it. A couple of you – I won’t name names – ARE a little blabby). I flew out yesterday morning, spent last night at my sister’s house, and then today I made my surprise appearance.
In the lead up to my visit, my sister and I discussed the best way to spring my surprise appearance. Mom was scheduled to have dim sum with friends and co-workers (Yes! She still goes into the office!) and I figured I would just get there early and be seated at the table when she arrived (Surprise!), but transportation issues quashed that idea. So my sister and I brainstormed alternate scenarios. Here were some of our inspired ideas:
1. I hide in the back seat of my sister’s car while my she picks up my mother for lunch. Once mom gets in the car, I spring up from the backseat: “Surprise!”
2. My sister drives us to mom’s place. She heads inside while I sneak around to the back. At some point, after mom let’s the dogs out, my sis notes: “Hey, who’s that walking off with your dog?” Mom hurries outside to check and: “Surprise!”
3. My sister takes my mother shopping. I sneak into the house. When they return, my sister reports hearing strange noises coming from the garage. My opens the garage door to investigate: “Surprise!”
4. My sister takes my mother shopping. I sneak into the house. Later, my mother comes downstairs to finish the laundry. She opens the dryer – where I’ve been lying in wait. I reach out and clap my hand around her ankle: “Surprise!”
5. My sister takes mom out for a late dinner. I sneak into the house. Sis drops mom off and mom retires to her room – but the light doesn’t work (because I’ve unplugged it!). She prepares to lie down for a good night’s sleep – and discovers someone already lying there! “Surprise!”
6. [Compliments of Kathode] My sister takes mom out shopping. I sneak into the house. When mom comes home and opens the refrigerator to get a snack, I jump out – Surprise!
All terrific ideas but, in the end, we went with none of the above. Instead, my sister picked up a bunch of birthday flowers and drove to mom’s house. While she headed inside, I phoned – presumably from Vancouver – and wished mom a happy birthday. Then, flowers in hand, I rang the bell. My sister peeked out the window and informed my mother it was a special delivery. And when my mother answered the door…
Good, but I think we should have gone with the dryer gag.
After that, it was off to a special 80th birthday lunch with mom, sis, and about twenty co-workers at Le Cristal Chinois. It was just me and the ladies! And lots of great food!