Grandma’s Birthday Surprise

Grandma’s birthday was last Friday. The plan was that we would bring dessert over (peach cobbler – her request) to my parents’ house at about 7 pm.

At 1:30 pm that day, I noticed that I had missed a phone call on my cell from the Captain.

I called him back immediately, and he asked what was going on that evening for Mom. I told him that we would be over there at 7 for dessert.

“Good. I’ll be there,” he replied.

While this should seem like an impossibility – he is stationed in Missouri, after all – it wasn’t. You see, the Captain, as overqualified as he is, had been sent to Ft. Lewis (the major Army base in western Washington) to do a “career fair” presentation for the military police to the ROTC cadets going through advanced camp at Ft. Lewis – something that the Captain himself once did. It was nine years ago, and I remember it well, because it was the last time that I saw him before he went off to Airborne training at Ft. Benning… right before the Webmaster and I got married. I was really hoping he wouldn’t break any limbs and be on crutches for the wedding – he was a groomsman, after all. Fortunately, he did very well jumping out of perfectly good airplanes and was able to perform his duties admirably at my wedding.

Anyway, the upshot of it is that the Captain was at Ft. Lewis on Friday when he called. We all knew this, but as he had to fly back to Missouri the following morning, he had already told my mother that he couldn’t make it.

However, he did have a rental car, and he decided to come up for the evening. He only called me to make sure that Mom would be home for her birthday.

We showed up at 7:02 pm, and I was anxiously keeping my eye on the clock. The Webmaster snuck out and contacted the Captain, and found out that he was almost there, and planned to slip in through the backyard.

The kids were in the backyard playing with Auntie when the Captain strolled in, wearing his ACU, beret and sunglasses, looking completely nonchalant as he walked in through the back door. Auntie did a double-take, Ane (who had been in on the secret and was so fit to burst that I was making sure that she was outside while we waited, so she wouldn’t spill the beans to Grandma) squealed, and Tad looked up and calmly said, “Oh, dere Captain.” (He did actually say the Captain’s real name, but we’ll keep up the blog name for the purposes of this story.)

The Webmaster and I, with huge grins on our faces, watched as my brother came in, sat down opposite my parents in the family room (who were watching TV and weren’t paying attention to who was coming in from the backyard), and said casually, “So, what’s for dinner?”

It was a very fun evening. The Captain ate dinner, we all had dessert (and Ane insisted on a candle for Grandma and singing “Happy Birthday”), and then we got to watch home videos that the Captain had brought with him of Belle, Berry, and baby Beth – including the video of three-year-old Belle and one-year-old Berry meeting the newborn Beth. The Captain also got to see Ane and Tad, whom he hadn’t seen in 18 months, and see how much they’d grown and how much better Tad’s speech was.

Uncle Captain, Ane and Tad

Each of the kids enjoyed seeing their uncle – though Ane was constantly getting confused between her Uncle Captain and Uncle Oddball. They don’t look anything alike, but they are both in the Army and have shaved heads. The Captain does have more hair, though. She tried on the Captain’s beret – something that she did at eleven months old (we have video of it). The beret still is too big.

Captain Ane

We had a lot of fun seeing the Captain – and we might even get to see him again while he’s doing these presentations at Ft. Lewis! Ane is very much wanting to see her cousins, too, but she’s happy to see her uncle. And maybe we’ll get lucky enough to see Belle, Berry, Beth and Aunt Q-Bee before the year is out. One can hope!

One Response to “Grandma’s Birthday Surprise”

  1. Ressis
    July 13th, 2009 17:50

    Whew! I’m back! We have internet in the new house!

    You need to join Facebook! Even Captain has a page now!