It was going to be the Mother Of All Surprises.
The greatest present since the day that Katie turned three and we woke her on her birthday, bags packed, plane tickets in hand and said, “Hey, do you want to go see Cinderella?”
Yup, it was going to be THAT big.
Because if you’ve been around here for more than ten minutes, then you know how my girl feels about these guys ..
And I found out where they LIVE.
(Florida, as you do.)
Here, to be more specific ..
And we’re going.
RIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS.
Well, almost right after. Like two weeks after. Close enough.
And the whole thing is going to be the biggest surprise in the history of biggest surprises. I planned out the way we’ll present it to her on Christmas – a social story that she’ll read – pictures and all. Dora, Boots, Ming Ming – all her friends. Jet Blue — her beloved Jet Blue. It will all be part of the story. And on the last page, it will say, “Mama and I will fly on Jet Blue to meet Dora and her friends on January 9th! I can’t wait!”
And when she reads that part, she will gasp again with shock and awe and SURPRISE. She might even fall off her chair.
Last night, Katie performed in her school band concert. After the experience at Tuesday night’s choral concert, we decided to give Brooke the choice of joining us or staying home with Julie. She opted for the latter.
When we got home, Julie had a question.
“Hey, when are you and Brooke going to Nick Jr World?”
I hadn’t told her. I hadn’t told anyone.
“You’re going, right?” she asked.
“Well, um, yeah, but, how did you know?”
She pointed to the Jet Blue itinerary that was pinned TO THE VERY TOP OF THE BULLETIN BOARD (we’re talking over seven feet up, people.) “I asked her if you guys were taking a trip,” she said. “And she said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to Nick Jr World to meet Dora. It’s in Florida.'”
Julie had no idea it was a surprise. Why would she?
“Is the whole family going?” she told me she’d asked her.
“No. Just me and Mama,” she’d said.
I have absolutely no idea how this child figured it out. I didn’t write it. I didn’t say it anywhere near her. I plotted the whole thing from my desk at work.
Fine, I told her the place existed, but when she asked if we could go I simply said that I’d think about it.
I guess the gig is up.
But damn it, if she asks me, I’m sticking to Maybe.
And I’m still making the dang social story.
Ed note: This is really only half the story. You see, the real story is how I couldn’t afford to do this and my dad decided that not affording it wasn’t going to be a reason not to do it and how now it’s Brooke’s Christmas present from him but how it’s really just as big a gift to me and Oh My God, I still can’t believe that he’s doing this cause seriously, who does that? But if I tell that part of the story then we’ll all be in tears and I don’t know about you, but I just can’t start my Friday like that, so I’ll save all that for another time.
Thank you, Dad. It’s not nearly big enough, but thank you.