In which we are refreshed . . . and surprised. Thrice.
Krista and I decided that we would sleep in a bit and start camp a little later this morning. It was a good plan. We were chipper and refreshed, and ready for some mini-golf at the Steakburger in good ol' Hazel Dell.
What we didn't know is that we were in for a surprise. Or three. (Thankfully, these unexpected events did not involve dog poop or insect bites.)
The first surprise was that Drew had secretly invited a friend and his older brother to meet us. They just "happened" to show up. Such a coincidence! Drew was pretty pleased to pull one over on mom. They had a great time.
The second surprise was that Daddy decided to join us. Apparently Aidan had casually said this morning, "You should come with us, Daddy!" So Daddy did.
My heart did a little flip-flop when I saw my tall, dark and handsome guy suddenly saunter through the geraniums and swing his little Miss Kate up in a hug. She was thrilled and immediately claimed Daddy for her exclusive golfing partner.
We had all arrived, so the kids formed little groups and began golfing. Krista and I took up the rear as little Clara wielded a putter with as much cuteness as can be. We didn't get much golfing in, but it sure was fun to watch.
As the kids made their way through the various obstacles, we noticed an older couple at the hole behind us. My sister quietly ached for the woman who was obviously wearing a wig. Cancer, perhaps? Poor thing.
I, however, noticed the twinkle in her eye and the intentional limp in her step.
It was our mother.
Hidden under large straw hats and sunglasses, our parents masqueraded as "old folks" for as long as they could. The kids kept on playing, but one by one they began to glance at the frail couple, then glance away. They glanced back, glanced away, and hesitated. Finally they got up the nerve to say, "Papa?"
They were rewarded with big smiles, for it was indeed Papa and Noni. Fresh from a vacation, they were eager to dole out lots of hugs to the grandkids.
I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
We wrapped up the game and decided to grab an ice cream cone before we left. The kids were delighted with their chocolate-vanilla swirls, and we reminisced about the youth group events that used to take place at that very restaurant. (Youth events, by the way, that had my heart doing that very same flip-flop over that very same man.)
It was soon time to part ways and shout, "See you tomorrow!" Mini-golf had been a blast, and the added surprises made it priceless. I think the kids all agree that it was the best day yet.