Surprises. You gotta’ love ‘em or hate ‘em. Right?
Like when my husband gets approved for overtime. That’s a good surprise.
Or the $8,000 we lost a few months ago after hiring a company to build a two-story workshop in our backyard. We got scammed. That’s a bad surprise – and another story.
Then there are the surprises we parents aren’t quite sure how to react to. I’m sure some of you can relate. Like when Amy, our oldest daughter, instant-messaged me yesterday with six simple words.
“I have a surprise for you.”
If your gorgeous daughter lived on a university campus, what would go through your mind?
I decided to keep it cool.
“You cut and frosted your hair.”
“You got a ring? Because if you did, we hope you’d talk to Dad first.”
“No.” I could feel her rolling her eyes.
“You got a tattoo. Please tell me you didn’t get a tattoo.” I swallowed hard.
“No, Mom. I’d never get a tramp stamp – ‘cuz I wouldn’t be able to get an epidural.”
My typing stopped. I waited. She knew how to play this one, the stinker.
“Besides, when I get a tattoo, I want it to have significance.”
“That’s wise,” I wrote, “because what seems significant now may not be that way down the road.”
Enough of the mom advice. I couldn’t take much more. “You didn’t get a nose ring, did you?”
“No, but you’re close.”
That did it. The suspense was killing me.
“Check out the new picture I just posted on Facebook,” she typed.
Faster than you can say “DSL connection,” I pulled up her page. And there was her surprise – for me and 300 of her Facebook friends – to see. Yesiree, right there on my computer.
She was waiting for my reaction. I knew it was important not only for her, but to our mom-daughter relationship.
I stared at the picture, smiled and sighed. I thanked God for our beautiful daughter.
“I like it.”
I could not only feel her smiling, but sensed her relief. And all because I didn’t let something as small as a nose stud pierced in her left nostril stand in the way of our relationship.
The way I see it, there are too many important things in life we parents can worry about. A nose stud isn’t one of them. Our daughter is thoughtful, sincere, respectful, a smart student with an incredible love for geriatrics and Alzheimer’s patients, a friend’s friend and drop-dead beautiful. I’m proud of her – can you tell? Most importantly, she felt comfortable enough to talk to me.
In light of how we were scammed, I suppose this surprise wasn’t so bad, after all. Surprises. You gotta’love ‘em or hate ‘em. And this one, I love.