I've always loved surprises. I love the anticipation, the savoring and wondering, almost as much, and sometimes more, than the actual event/gift itself. Hubders could tell me exactly where my birthday present was hiding months in advance (this is obviously a hypothetical example, I can't quite imagine him actually purchasing a gift that early), and I would not be tempted in the least to peek. That would ruin the surprise. When Ruggles was in-utero (spell check won't help me spell that word!), the ultrasound obviously revealed, even to my untrained eyes, that we were about to welcome son number two into our family. It was interesting to me that the actual delivery was a bit of a let-down. Along with the joy and wonder of seeing him for the very first time, the absolute miracle of one so recently sent down from God, there was also a smidge of disappointment. Not disappointment that he was another boy, but that I already KNEW he was a boy. The surprise part of it had been taken from me. Not a huge deal really, but it was then that I realized how big I am on surprises.
My love of watching things unknown unfold at the proper time is a big part of why I love being a mom. To me, it's the most satisfying surprise of all to watch your children grow and develop into whoever it is they are in the process of becoming. I couldn't have guessed when I was in the throws of diaperdom and refereeing squabbles between my first three that Tough-guy was in process of developing such a love for his country that he'd put himself through the excruciating process of becoming a Marine and literally offer to lay down his life for his country. Or that Ruggles, who just wanted to play and would do almost anything to get out of work, would buckle in, save more than the entire $10,000 dollars needed to pay for his LDS mission and serve with all his heart in Thailand. Or that Sweetie, who is so innocent and pure that you felt you would always need to protect her, would be the first to go off to college half a continent away, and thrive there with a beauty and grace that is a joy to behold. What a lovely surprise this mothering thing can be!
My three younger children are still unknowns. Beautifully wrapped packages with only the corner opened. I still have most of the anticipation and excitement of their big reveal yet ahead. But occasionally I get another glimpse of what lies beneath the paper.
We just got back from visiting my parents on their mission. I absolutely love that after nine years of a twenty hour drive to see my mom, she's now only three hours away!!! Hubders, bless his heart, is simply letting me go whenever I want--not quite three months into their mission and I just came back from visit number three! This trip I took Bikey-boy and Banana-girl out of school so they could come too.
Grandma has generally made a hot breakfast, but she recently hurt her knee (surgery is probably in her near future), and so planned a breakfast of cold cereal. My family loves cold cereal, so this isn't a problem, but she only had the kinds of cereal that adults traditionally like. There wasn't a single choice that didn't have dried fruit of some kind in it. And to top it off, there was only skim milk, something my children have learned to drink in a glass, but are loathe to ever have on any cereal. Not four months ago, we had a protracted struggle at the breakfast table with ten-year-old Banana-girl because she accidentally poured skim milk on her cheerios. I let her know that we were not going to waste that bowl, it was perfectly good milk, not sour or anything, and she could eat it. Although she eventually did, it was NOT a fun morning. Bikey-boy and Girlie-whirl both like raisin bran, so I knew they would enjoy the meal, but I was thinking of how to help Banana-girl act appropriately about her breakfast options when she took the raisin bran, poured it in her bowl, topped it off with skim milk and pleasantly joined in the breakfast conversation as she proceeded to eat!!! She's certainly growing up! It was a lovely surprise!