Anniversary "Surprise"

Monday morning was my parents' 23rd wedding anniversary. Well, Monday afternoon, technically, but who cares about technicalities?


I don't know what possessed us, but Emily and I decided to help them "celebrate" by getting up at 4:30 a.m. to make breakfast and surprise them.  My dad's alarm goes off at 4:40, so we wanted to at least have the process started by the time his alarm went off.

Now, if that doesn't make sense to you, let me explain it in simple English:

If dad woke up to smell food being cooked, maybe he would get the idea that it was a surprise, and, well….I guess the ultimate goal was for him to fall back asleep until we were done.  Doesn't sleeping in sound like a romantic thing to do on one's anniversary?


Well, about five minutes into the breakfast-preparation project, Emily turned to me and said, "What if I went and turned his alarm off?"

It was a brilliant idea.


Complication: Dad was not, and I repeat, NOT, expecting intruders in his room at that hour of the morning, so there was no telling what he would do if he woke up and saw a long-haired figure next to his bed messing with his alarm clock.


"Be safe," I said, feebly.


Note: Emily claims that when I said, "Be safe," I really meant, "If you wake dad up, I'm going to KILL you!"

 I plead the fifth.


"Okay," she said.

A few minutes later, she came back in the kitchen, with the whole matter sewn up nicely: "I turned the alarm clock off, shut the door, and now we can let the dog out so she doesn't make any noise." (I knew I kept that girl around for a reason.)


With that taken care of, we had a little bit more time to make breakfast. The menu was rather simple—breakfast burritos and coffee cake and apple slices and orange juice. (Who wants a huge breakfast at 4:30 in the morning anyway?!)


I know the question on everyone's minds right now: who made the coffee cake?


Well, even if that wasn't on your mind, I'll tell you. I made that coffee cake, thank you very much.

I know what you're thinking now, too: Wait. Making coffee cake is a domestic activity. You have terrible luck with things like that. Was it a disaster?  

Yes. It was a disaster, but, it's not fair to assume that everything I make in the kitchen is a catastrophe.  (You just think it is, because I never blog about the meal projects that work out. Other than, you know, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, or, Orangette, nobody likes to read about people's everyday meals. "And then I made applesauce, which turned out, and then I made cheese bread, which turned out, and then I made…." You get the point.)

To redeem myself, let me say, once-and-for-all: the coffee cake turned out.

Everybody liked it.

That's all that mattered.
I could blog about the disaster of the coffee cake, but, by now, you all could probably write the blog post for me, as almost everything that can possibly go wrong has, at some point, gone wrong for me at one time or another.

So, I won't blog about the coffee cake.

Suffice it to say that my nice dad saw how frustrated I was afterwards and tried to comfort me by saying, "Good morning, Betty Crocker!" for several long periods of time thereafter.



Back to the story.

We got breakfast finished by 4:50 and there was still no sign of any stirring in the parents' room. We woke the other kids up, and they quickly caught the vision.


With the possible exception of Jay, who is usually disoriented in the morning hours. Especially the pre-five-a.m. hours.


We took the plates of food down the hall, threw the door open, started singing, "Happy Anniversary To You" (think: "happy birthday", only….not) and switched the lights on.




Oh, they were surprised, all right.

It took them a good long time to wake up, and then they sat there staring at us for awhile.

"What time did you get up?" dad asked, fin-ally.

"Happy Anniversary!" we said.


After they were fully awake (took awhile, believe me) they thought it was a great idea and said they were some of the best breakfast burritos EVER.

Just guessing, but that probably has something to do with the fact that Emily made them, not me.


While we were all sitting around sharing good cheer at five o'clock in the morning, celebrating the twenty-three years of wedded bliss our parents have enjoyed, we looked over at Jay, who was quieter than usual.


He'd fallen back asleep.