Saturday, January 21, 2017

"Surprise. Surprise. Surprise." - Gomer Pyle

30 Day Writing Challenge

Write about the best type of surprise.

I don't really like surprises.  I mean I really don’t like surprises.  Surprises are predictably unpredictable.  They can be good, but they can also be really bad.  Surprises are not for the faint-hearted and sometimes I am faint of heart.

Our daughter Cali doesn’t like surprises either, but for a different reason.  

One day, shortly before she turned eight years old, we were discussing her birthday.  I explained that she would receive a really special birthday present from Grandpa and Grandma Payne (which was true, they always give the grandchildren a set of scriptures on their eighth birthday and in the big scheme of things scriptures are very, very, very special.  Just ask Moses or Peter or William Tyndale).
As Cali’s birthday approached she was excited to not only be getting presents, but a special one.  Her birthday came and went and I forgot about our conversation until years later when I told her I had a surprise for her.

She said, “No surprises, mom.  Just tell me what it is; my imagination is always better than your surprises. Remember when I turned eight and you told me I was going to get a special surprise from Grandpa and Grandma.  I was so excited.  I thought and thought of what could be really special.  I finally figured out that they were getting me a swimming pool (Olympic-size of course, because she doesn’t dream small).  I knew a swimming pool would be a really special surprise.  Can you imagine my disappointment when I opened a box with scriptures in it instead?  Very.  No surprises for me mom, your surprises just can’t match my imagination.”

I fear surprises because a surprise can mean something bad as easily as something good, Cali dislikes surprises because they never match her expectation.

I can think of two exceptions.  One was when the kids planned a surprise 50th birthday party for me and all the kids and my sister, Rachel, came home (except Abe who was deployed).  That was a wonderful surprise and I could relive it again and again and again.

The other was six snow days in the last two weeks.  Six snow days means six days I didn’t go to the office to work.  Six days I didn’t wear tights or skirts or dresses.  Six days I slept in until 6:00.  Six days I read books.  Six days I was on social media too much.  Six days I worked on projects in the fort. Six days of simple meals.

The Craft Fort
Ty and Michelle turned our water heater closet into a perfect place for sewing,
writing blogs, scrapbooking, wrapping gifts.  They made shelves and a desk.
It is a happy place.

Since there was no going anywhere, there was no exercising and fruit and toast
and peanut butter sandwiches were enough.

I'm still not a fan of surprises, but it doesn't hurt to be wrong once in awhile either.

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