as i previously mentioned, all of my siblings and i have january birthdays. brother G’s was yesterday. O HAPPY DAY! and yes, the mission i so vaguely mentioned last post was directly related to that event.
it actually started over a year ago when my SIL (M) asked me how i felt about being a present of the surprise variety for brother G. you see, they live on the west coast and so our time together is more often relegated to emails and texts and phone calls and skype than to time spent in the same time zone. M and i figured out the perfect plan and coordinated our schedules so that i could fly out and be all SURPRISE, i’m here!
brother G’s work sent him to london. i stayed on the east coast that year.
M and i resumed our talks a few months ago and this time, all signals were clear for take-off. even though mother nature played hard ball and dumped 15 inches of snow on boston the day before my flight was scheduled to leave. fortunately, the runways were clear the next night and i boarded and shut off my phone after receiving instruction to call G when i landed because he would be the one to pick me up. my flight took off. i landed 6 hours later and dialed. G picked up and his voice didn’t sound surprised.
GAH. what? why not?
now G and i are similar in that we don’t often show our emotions (i’m working on it!), but this was more than that. he knew. he KNEW. but, but, but, WHEN? HOW?
rewind. M hadn’t told her kids anything because, well, they’re kids and don’t yet understand the concept of a secret. or how to keep one. MMM (8yo niece) is getting there, but we didn’t want to test her limits, so M waited until a week before my arrival to tell her. MMM zipped her lips. the morning of my arrival, MMM was whispering with her mom and didn’t realize brother A was around the corner within hearing distance. later, as G drove them to school, A says, “Dad, you’re going to pick up your sister at the airport today.”
G says he was very surprised then. it was just 10 hours before my arrival…
but you know what? it doesn’t matter because even though it was a quick visit, it was jam packed. i got to see MMM and A play basketball (6yos who haven’t had a practice because of inclement weather playing their first game? HILARIOUS), i got L (2.5yo) to talk to me even if it was only for a minute or two, we played xbox connect (AMAZING), we ate lunch at the top of the space needle with uncle rob, we watched movies, we giggled, i saw L throw a football better than some high school kids i know, but best of all, i got to spend time with each of the seattle mumfords one on one – chatting, listening, learning, observing, getting to know them as they are now and at 3pm and at 3am and at 7am. i experienced their life as it is on a daily basis, 3 hours behind mine on the east coast. all the noise and the silence and the chaos and the laughter and the bickering and the tickling and the sharing and the snacking and the sleeping.
i may have started out as the present, but what a goody bag i received.