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The surprise party

The surprise party - Jason Brock

My mom turned seventy last September. We had a surprise party for her. My sister and I, we managed to plan everything to the last detail, without her suspecting anything. It all started last August, when we went for a pontoon ride on Sylvan Lake, Alberta.

Each summer, during the last week of August, we have a small family reunion. Each year, we would rent a pontoon and spend an entire day on the lake. There is something to do for everyone, while on board. The children swim fish or play cards. The adults have a drink (supposedly non-alcoholic) and a good chat. While the elders (meaning my mom and my aunty) are simply enjoying the weather and the company.

Before the pontoon trip, my sister called and asked me if I had any plans for mom’s birthday. I told her I was supposed to be abroad for a few weeks in September. Thus, I wasn’t available. I asked her what she had in mind. She reminded me that mom was turning seventy this year. She suggested that we should do something different this time. Something BIG!

Given that we never did anything special, just a cake and a short “Happy birthday” cheer, I agreed with my sister. We both checked our agendas in order to choose a day for her party. We settled for September 5th, which was right before my departure to Europe, and two days away from her birthday.

Because we wanted to really surprise her, we decided to play a trick on her. While we were on the pontoon, we took a chocolate cake (which I previously bought and dropped on the Alberta asphalt on my way to the car) and started to sing her “Happy birthday!” She wasn’t expecting that. She was speechless. Everyone wished her and gave her a hug. She was a happy grandma.

Thus, by having this little celebration on the boat, we ensured it would not cross her mind, that we had something else coming for her. A week later, I called her on Friday morning asking her to join me and my sister for dinner the following day. At 7PM, I went to pick her up. I told her we would pick up my sister as well, because her car wasn't working.

When I got to my sister's house, I asked mom to stay inside the car, while I went to ring the doorbell. I wanted to ensure that everything was ready, before bringing her into the house. There were about twenty six persons waiting for her inside. I returned to the car, saying that Gloria wasn't ready and she needed her.

I helped her get down of the car, and walked her to the door. When she stepped in, she had the surprise of her life. Everyone said: “Surprise!” in one voice. It took her about a half an hour to realize that it was a surprise party for her.

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