A quick post tonight because it’s almost midnight and I’m tired.
I should have known I was the victim of a rouse. As my wife pointed out to me later this evening, I am apparently oblivious sometimes. I don’t think of it that way so much as I don’t always notice a thing that’s going on. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. No, seriously, I am a very trusting person when it comes to certain people. For instance, my wife could tell me just about anything and I’d take her word for it.
So naturally I didn’t think anything was up when I went into the refrigerator last night and saw a whole bunch of stuff that hadn’t been there earlier in the day. I just assumed that she had gone shopping. It probably should have struck me as odd that we were only going to be eating appetizers for the next few nights. It also didn’t occur to me that all of my departmental colleagues were quite concerned about my absence from work yesterday when I saw them this morning. It’s not like I had the plague or anything. As I reminded them repeatedly, I only had a case of laryngitis and I was fine. Just needed to rest my vocal chords so I could actually teach. Nor did it concern me that my friend, Julia, stopped by my classroom after the final bell and chatted me up just long enough that I was wondering if she’d finish her story so I could get out of there. I picked up the kids from my daughter’s ballet class, but that’s normal. My wife had messaged me to remind me of a big presentation she had to make online. Because she needed the house absolutely quiet, I was to take the kids and my mother-in-law to Chick-fil-a before coming home but not to return before 6:45. Oh, and here’s the kicker. She told me to let the get whatever they wanted but that I shouldn’t eat anything myself because we needed to use a Groupon to a local restaurant before it expired. Her mom and sister would simply watch the kids. And another thing… I needed to pick up a prescription for my sister-in-law at the pharmacy before coming home.
I guess I should have been thinking “Hmm… Why is she so concerned with keeping me OUT of the house this evening?” None of this crossed my mind when I finally pulled into the driveway an walked into the house with my son. And then I noticed something very unusual… It was Carlos, my friend and co-worker, standing in my kitchen engaged in conversation with my wife. Huh? What in the world is going on? At this point I sort of knew something was up. I walked up the three steps into the kitchen and said “Hey! What are you doing here?” That’s when my beautiful wife said “May as well go in to the living room and say hi to everybody else!” So I walked into the front living room and there they were… All of my friends from the theology department at work, sitting around, drinking wine, sampling appetizers. “SURPRISE!” they yelled. And I genuinely was surprised.
My birthday’s not for another two weeks but somehow, the wonderful lady I’m so blessed to call my wife had thrown this whole thing together. Not only was it a beautiful evening, not only did my friends finally get to come into our home (I’ve been trying for a year to get everyone together), not only did they finally get to sample my wife’s incredible cooking and party skills; but it was just the wonderful diversion I needed on a Thursday evening after one long week and right before a Friday that promises to drag on and on. And in all my excitement there’s one thing now I wish I had remembered to do — take more pictures of everyone! I did manage to get one shot that kind of says it all, though. 35 balloons floating peacefully above our dining room table.
Thank you, Karla. You are the perfect compliment to me and the woman I’m so happy to have by my side as we go through life. I don’t know what anyone’s future will hold (especially in these times) but I know that you and I will always be strong and safe and happy because we have each other and our two beautiful babies. You are the best and you know I’m going to spend between now and April figuring out how to get you back.