We had such a great time surprising my mom!!!
We weren't sure what we would do. My mom made plans as of yesterday after work to go to a tea with all of the female teachers from her new school about 11a.m. today. We weren't aware of this, but we changed our plans many times, and I texted Linda to tell her how to play along with everything. She tried calling my mom a couple times today to make her think everything was normal, but the phone went to voice mail each time. My mom had called Linda about 9:30 telling her that she wanted to go to dinner at TGI Fridays at 4. We told my mom when she called about 3:30 Linda was stuck at school, couldn't leave immediately, and wanted to do Famous Dave's Barbecue at 6.
When my mom got home at 4:30 we had her change clothes, and she was planning to anyways. We left the house at 5. We planned to have enough time to run to Sears to exchange the dress I got her that was the wrong size. We were getting to Sears at 5:40 and told my mom we had 10 minutes to get the dress in the right size so we could meet Linda at 6. At 6 we were still at Sears, and Linda texted me saying everyone was there, where were we? We planned to be walking in at 6. I texted her we hadn't left Sears. I said we were 7 minutes away- we got there at 6:15. We went to Famous Daves Barbecue- HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE RESTAURANT.
I texted Linda as I parked the car, and we walked up to the restaurant. I walked ahead of my mom, dad, and sister in the hopes I could prepare everyone since Linda didn't text me back. I opened the door and the office manager saw me, and she got everyone ready. Linda was surprised and didn't get my message, and I saw her scrambling for a camera. Though all of my mom's friends were seated in front of her- there were 18 of them- she didn't see them- and it didn't occur to her. She was trying to ask if there were reservations under the name Linda since I said Linda kept texting me she was at the restaurant. My dad saw everyone, and pushed my mom their way. The history teacher waved, and my mom waved back. It didn't register, she thought it was coincidence. As we approached the table they sang happy birthday. It hit my mom about the time they finished singing Happy Birthday, and she began crying.
My mom was so shocked. She went around hugging everyone. Then she thanked everyone as we made our way to our seats in the center of the table. Linda went around making pictures, as did my sister. My mom sat at the table and began crying again. We all talked. The restaurant brought out onion straws for us to snack on. My mom began asking if we knew about this, and how long we'd known. We didn't divulge all the details. My mom continued talking, visiting, with everyone. The restaurant brought out the feast on big tin trash can lids- there were beef briskets, corn on the cob, muffins, chicken, and pork ribs. As the servers brought it out they yelled "FEAST, FEAST, FEAST." The food was delicious- none of us had been there before- and we all commented on how good it was. My mom and the teachers talked about all that's going on at their schools. My mom kept saying how she couldn't believe she was gone a year, yet everyone came, and hadn't forgotten about her. One teacher, the science teacher made the comment that of course my mom hadn't been forgotten, she was one of the backbones of the school that everyone loved. All of the best staff was there.
My mom opened up her presents and read the cards. The waiter said since we had a cake for my mom his gift was some of their barbecue sauce, which we really liked, and thought that was neat. Linda ordered a cake from Costco. Then all the teachers stood up, talked, and visited. It was fun to make my rounds to the different groups and mingle. We hung around for 4 hours or so. The restaurant was not even crowded, and they told us to stay as long as we pleased.
Everyone started leaving about 9:30-10. My mom finally got a chance to talk to Linda, her husband, and the family. We told her we'd been talking about this since March, and everyone was so excited to come. Everyone really was. My mom said how surprised she was, how she hadn't had a birthday party since 3rd grade, and hadn't had a party since she got married. She said how this was definitely something she will remember.
It's all we've talked about since we got in the car to come home. I am all smiles that we pulled this off. My dad is too. My dad is one of those men who is hard to read and may not express his emotion, but he had several smiles tonight, and that was special.
I have to admit I was about to cry, and had to restrain myself as we walked up to the table and seeing all the teachers there as they began to sing Happy Birthday. That to me was so moving. To see so many of my mom's friends. So much love and support. To see my mom so shocked. To see everyone so happy was what made this evening so special, and so touching.
Each one of the cards that my mom received had such heartfelt comments and wishes, not just the generic Happy Birthday.
This was too cool!!!!
There were 18 of us...
- Office manager, we call her the School Mom
- Attendance clerk
- Science teacher who is basically a big kid, so loving, and so caring
- Mel, whom I sub for often
- Linda's husband
- School Nurse
- Top history teacher
- Science teacher that was transferred last year, and his wife
- Mal, the one I go to concerts with
- Newcomers English teacher that was transferred last year
- Music teacher
- My mom's good friend, the art teacher that retired 7 years ago
- My mom, dad, sister, myself