Originally posted: Monday, 02 April 2007
So I think I’m just the luckiest guy around.
Seriously. I couldn’t have wished for a better day yesterday. It all started a few weeks ago as I began to get prepared for hitting the big “34”.
Yeah.. that’s right.. on tuesday I turn 34. That’s 1 year closer to 40.. only 6 years away. eep!
So while thinking about what i wanted for my birthday, my wife and I were talking about various things I might like.. but nothing really stood out. I mean, I’ve got most of the “little” things I want.. it’s really about making our family life easier.. you know, a nice bbq.. getting the garage finished.. putting on a second story.. hanging out with the entire family.. the types of things you can’t really “ask” for for a birthday gift.
So I kind of put it out of my mind & thought “well, maybe we’ll just go out to dinner or something.. and then use the birthday as an excuse to buy something nice for the house”.
Then on thursday I got an email from my brother inviting me to go play badminton on sunday. I thought “hey, that’d be fun.. last time I couldn’t walk for two days, but it was good to go hang out and hit a birdie around.. but my wife & baby just got back from NZ, and I’d like to hang out with them and maybe do some yardwork or something around the house.. So I replied “yeah, maybe.. I’ll check with P and see what she says..”
Then I promptly forgot about it.
On friday night, P asked “hey, what do you want to do on sunday?”
“I dunno,” I replied. “I’ve got some work to do on the DVD series.. it’d be nice to finish recording part 2.. maybe do a bit of gardening.. go to a park with AJ.. you know, something like that?”
“Hmm.. you know, I was thinking how much fun it’d be to learn to play badminton sometime..”
“Oh! Kyle invited me to play on sunday.. maybe we can all go?”
“Nono, you go have some quality bonding time with kyle. It’ll be good for you guys to hang out.”
“Oh.. okay, I’ll let him know.”
So I made plans with kyle to get together around 12 to play badminton.
Saturday we cleaned up the house a bit.. did some gardening.. talked about how nice it would be if we could actually use our backyard.. maybe have a bbq the next weekend.. etc. But our only bbq is a baby weber-q.. a tiny thing that’s kinda busted and a bit overused (since that’s all we had to cook with while we were renovating our kitchen.. for 6 months..). But you know how it is.. you start working on a part of the house and start thinking “hmm.. wouldn’t it be nice if…”
Then sunday P head’s off to the store & I’m watching AJ before heading off to meet Kyle for Badminton. She gets back around 11, we kiss goodbye & I head off.
Kyle & I end up playing tennis (the badminton court was closed) and throwing around a frisbee for a bit. I suck at tennis, so it was fun remembering NOT to use my wrist (unlike badminton & ping pong). Around 1:30 I said “Okay, I gotta get back.. P’s going to be needing help with the baby”, so I hop in the jeep & head back home.
Pulling into the driveway I notice that my dad’s car is parked in front of the house.
Odd.. I didn’t know that they were coming over today.. oh well, maybe they wanted to see the baby?
I get out of the car and notice the gas bottle to the bbq sitting on the front steps. I remember that P had talked about getting it filled, so I figured maybe she had gotten it filled but left it there for me to bring upstairs (with the baby and everything, it’s sometimes easier to leave thing down at the car for whomever comes by next to bring it up).
I grab the gas bottle and start up the stairs when my dad’s wife comes down holding the baby saying “hi jason! you have to go get some gas for the bottle!”
I look down at the bottle. It’s pretty damn heavy, and I can tell it’s full of gas already.
“Uh.. I think it’s full..”
“No no, P says you need to go fill it up.”
Knowing I shouldn’t go against my wife’s wishes (I’m a smart husband), I get back in the car & start to back out the driveway when I notice my mom’s girlfriend and my brother walking towards the house.
I drive towards them and my mom’s girlfriend goes “what, you’re not coming to your own party?”
“nope, didn’t know I was having a party..” I say as I drive off to go fill the already full gas bottle.
At the gas station, the guy tells me “This is already full.. it doesn’t need to be filled up.” So I call home and say “hi.. the gas bottle is full.. do you want me to drive around a bit?”
My dad’s wife replies “yes! drive around and enjoy your sunday.. for about 15 minutes or so.. and then call back..”
I smile and cruise around the neighborhood with the top down in the jeep for about 20 minutes. We live in a very rural area, so it’s fun getting lost to see what kind of house are back in the boonies.
After a while I call back and am told that I can come home.
So I go back home and when I get in the whole family is there with champagne.. we toast and I’m all smiles. Then P says, do you want to see your present?
Sure! So we head out back and lo and behold.. a brand new weber bbq.. a NICE one.. and an outdoor table and chairs and umbrella and pillows and some paper lanterns.. the whole backyard is all set up for a party! Not only can we have a bbq.. but we can have people over and kick back and relax and actually enjoy ourselves.
So awesome.. I was so excited and stoked! It was more than I expected and way more than I had even dreamed of.
And the best part.. it was all planned from the beginning.
When my wife got back from the store with a ton of meat she said “I thought I’d freeze this so we don’t have to worry about getting meat from the store this week..” nope, it was for the bbq.
When I was knocking at my brother’s door and he was taking a while to respond, I thought he had been in the bathroom.. nope, he was calling everyone saying “he’s here! Go! Go! Go!”
While we were playing tennis, my dad and his wife were hurridly putting together the new BBQ in our backyard.. in record time.
The new table was stashed at our neighbors and was quickly brought over and assembled.
The pillows had been stashed in a cupbord that I (for some reason) hadn’t looked in for the past few days.
The chairs were hidden behind the laundry.. a place I had walked past repeadedly the day before and hadn’t even noticed.
The whole badminton thing was a plan to get me out of the house.
All the comments and discussions of things to do in the backyard.. even a conversation my wife and I had about birdhouses had been specifically planned to get my reaction and see what I would say.. and of course I had said exactly what my wife had expected.
I’m just in awe of the planning and deception that went into this.
P, Kyle, Mom, El, Dad, & Leslie (and of course little AJ who didn’t give anything away, even when I tickled her).. you guys rock! Thank you so much!