I know this is late, I’ve been super-busy. I thought about titling this post “A Father’s Day Surprise,” but I can only say it was my first once so hopefully future Father’s days hold at least one surprise.
This year was my first Father’s Day, and it was a fantastic Father’s Day with my fantastic family. It started the day before Father’s Day…
Karah and I were in the car running some errands, on our way to Babies’R’Us discussing what we would be doing the next day. We weren’t celebrating with my parents on Father’s day because schedules just didn’t line-up for everyone, so we would give my dad his gift when we got together. But Karah asked “Do you want to go ahead and give your dad a card tomorrow and save the gift for when we’re all together?” Thinking about everything that was going on, and the fact that my dad, mom, and sister where in Phoenix (business conference and family vacation) I responded with “I think that would be too expensive.” I realized Karah had forgotten they were out of town, but was curious to see how long this memory-lapse would last. Thinking it was a financial matter Karah looked at our account balances with her phone and asked, “How much were you planning on spending?” I gave a number, and still not remembering that they were in Phoenix she said we could definitely afford to give him a card, “Why don’t you want to?” she asked. “It’s not that I don’t want too, it would just be expensive, do you want to spend that much money to give him a card?” I responded. She looked at me quizzically. I then reminded her, “They are in Phoenix right now and won’t be back till Tuesday.” “Oh ya, haha.” instant realization / memory retrieval and laughing at her own expense. But she turns to me and asks, “Well, do you want to?”
Knowing she wasn’t joking I asked how. She reminded me that Mark (her step-dad, who has been a father to her for most of her life) works at United Airlines, and through him we can fly standby inexpensively. We called her mom and Mark and worked out the details, we would try to get on a flight at 9ish the next morning, putting us on the ground at 11AM local Phoenix time. We called my mom to make arrangements and ensure they were open to us coming. I opened the conversation with “Hey mom, I was wondering if it would be okay if we crashed with you guys tomorrow night?” immediate response, “In Phoenix?”, she catches on quick. She was ecstatic and agreed to keep it a secret. We would walk in to the restaurant where they were meeting with my cousins and aunt (my dad’s twin sister and her children) for lunch and surprise him. I called my boss and he gave me Monday off and Karah’s parents graciously accepted taking care of our two dogs for two nights (since we had to get up a bit early in the morning it was easier to drop off the canines that evening at their house). We got to the airport, and got on the first flight (on group above us on the list didn’t show). Jovi did quite well, which was a relief for multiple reasons (I’ve been on planes with crying babies, and just feel sorry for the parents; we’re also going to San Diego for a business trip of mine soon and this was a good practice run). Going to Arizona had two purposes, being with my dad on Father’s Day and surprising him, and introducing all my family there to Jovi, none of them had gotten to meet her yet. We landed, went to pick up our rental car (we only had carry-ons), and headed to Texas Road house. I called my Grandpa Mel on the way, I wanted to be 100% sure the trip was happening before I talked to him about us coming, so by being there I was 100% sure.
My mom called us when we got there, we were just down the road. The stage is set. We walked in, Karah holding Jovi and me Father’s Day card in hand, right past the other people waiting, past my cousins (I head John say “Wait, is that…”) up to my dad who was facing away from the door talking to my mom (good work Mom). “Happy Father’s Day!” Ya, my dad was pretty surprised, and I felt pretty good about it.
Everyone got to see Jovi and it was great to just be with family like that again. After lunch we went back to their hotel (where they generously paid for a room for us for the night) and went swimming. We had made arrangements to me my Grandpa for dinner (out in Avondale), so we had to leave around five for that. I am so glad we got to spend some time with Grandpa. I wish we had gotten to spend more time with everyone. We had breakfast the next morning with my parents too, and then headed back to the airport. A flight that morning to Houston had been canceled, so the first flight was overbooked. But they inserted a new flight an hour later and we had plenty of room on that one for our enjoyable return trip.
I am so thankful to have my dad around, such a loving family (even if they are spread out pretty far), and a wife who not only thinks of great things like this trip, but is up for last-minute escapades!