The birthday girl's mother made the call to her husband signally that the other girls were ready. (The little girl thought that she was coming to the roller rink to check it out for a birthday party that she was hoping to have. Her birthday was still a week away). The mother watched the entrance while the silliness and energy grew louder from the girls. They looked like an explosion of confetti, apropos for the party. Standing ten feet behind the girls, the moms stood in a line, watching and waiting. They were there to witness the fun -- share in the joy. Who can resist witnessing the unfolding of a surprise?
"She's here, girls! Everyone ready? When she walks in, you know what to do!" whispered the mother.
At that instant, the birthday girl entered the roller rink, and a resounding "SURPRISE!" echoed throughout the rink. The little girl was shocked. She stood motionless, mouth formed in a wide open smile, her sweet little eyes staring out from behind her glasses, taking it all in.
The girls skated over to her and wrapped their arms around her, laughing and joining in with rounds of "happy birthdays" and "surprise" mingled together. The fun was under way, and it was a beautiful sight.
And the moms? We just stood there with tears in our eyes, soft smiles on our faces, and at least for myself, a heart that was stirred by something mysterious and deep, down inside.
I can't put words to it though, but it is not the first time that I was moved to tears as I watched an event like this unfold. Is it the unexpected joy? The element of suspense? Is it the room full of love and friendship? Or is it in a world where we are more often surprised by things we'd rather not deal with, and for a brief moment we find a surprise that is a celebration?
I can't figure it out, but perhaps you know what I mean. There is just something very special and life-giving in witnessing it, but it seems like there is more. I'm still smiling about it tonite, and still wondering, what is it about a surprise party?