To use an oft spun phrase, “life is full of surprises” and our children provided us with two big ones on Saturday night.
The first was a dinner to mark our 30th wedding anniversary, which Jeff and I were informed would be dinner in town with extended family, but that actually turned out to be a very well-planned and executed surprise party.
Most of our original wedding party were there as well as many of the original guests plus some new friends we have made on our journey together, including my niece who was but a twinkle in her mother’s eye at the original event.
The wonderful Cindy, cake decorator extraordinaire, produced a perfect replica of our wedding cake from a photo “secretly squirrelled” to her. Our wedding albums were on display to provide entertainment via 1980s fashions and hairstyles as well as brainteasers trying to remember who was who. Tables were laid with pink cutlery to replicate the bridesmaids’ dresses, one of which Mum produced and Emma duly modelled – after 30 years though it looked more like a sad shiny shower curtain than the starched taffeta I remembered!
The kids provided a beautiful meal despite the chief meat cook for the day, Josh, going down with a migraine. Emma’s frantic call to Marc went something like; “dude, we’re a soldier down, how do we cook this meat?” Luckily my sister and her partner were on hand to calm the coordinator and lend a hand, allowing Emma to return to her own tasks as per her multitude of lists (she is her mother’s daughter!)
The second surprise that eventually surfaced was the level of skulduggery that had gone on to maintain the ruse! Any parent worth their salt and living in the real world knows that they will never attain full disclosure from their children so I’m not surprised that they can tell a few white lies, but it’s the apparent ease with which they delivered one after the other, that I find a little unnerving!! Especially the imaginative excuses the boys came up with to circumvent Jeff’s curiosity and escape off farm to complete various tasks.
All of these little deceptions added to the evening’s entertainment and increased our appreciation for the effort they had put in to ensure a wonderful evening to mark this milestone in our lives.
When it came time to make a speech or two Jeff insisted I hold his hand, as he had done 30 years ago, but thanking Emma, Marc, Josh and Roz proved much harder than our first attempts at public speaking. Both of us were unable to adequately articulate all our thoughts at the time; we had some weird affliction that constricted our throats. Aforementioned salty parents will know what I mean.
I’ll admit to being guilty of committing a few sins in my life and if pride in my children sends me to purgatory, I’ll go willingly.
Anyone care to join me?