2023 SOL: 15 little surprises

We slept in a little. A bit of a strep throat hangover for Theo caused him to be a beast at daycare drop off. Three days on the antibiotic and he is finally on the upswing even if his meltdown says otherwise. They never seen him like that. They were completely shocked. “This is the real Theo,” I say while they stare in wide-eyed horror. He was screaming and kicking as if I was kidnapping him. I peace out as soon as I can peel him off me.

Way to go, kid. Now they think I’m the mean mom who leaves her screaming child at daycare.

George took come cajoling to brush his teeth and get out the door. But he did it in a somewhat timely manner. McKenna just made it for bus pick up. At least I didn’t have to flag the bus down on the way back around the corner. Been there. Little did they know the surprise that awaited them. It has been planned for weeks. Months, actually, if you count the failed attempt at Christmas time

*shakes fist in air* damn you Southwest Airlines.

The text came in about a month ago. I didn’t dare say a word to them. It was so hard. I wanted to tell them. Give them something to look forward to. But what if the airlines f’ed up again. What if something just feel through…hello strep throat.

I'm thinking about coming into town the week of March 11 to March 18.  Think I can see the kids?

Absolutely!  They won't be a ospring break but I will take them out of school.  This is a special occasion.  

YES! I would LOVE that!  

Tentative plans were made then firmed up closer to the date.

It will take them completely by surprise.  We will pretend it is a regular day then you can pick them up as school and daycare.  

I hope Theo remembers me.  It's OK if he doesn't.  

I bet he does.  You won't believe how big he's gotten and how much he's talking.  

I'm so excited to see.

She rings the doorbell. She hasn’t done this since the first week she was with us. I bet it feels weird after all this time. Like…what do you do? Just walk in like it hasn’t been months and months? We hug a little too long but I just cannot let go of this woman who cared for my children like her own for two years. It’s so good to see her even if I will be sad to let her go again. I can’t believe that in the little time she has in town, she wants to spend an entire afternoon with my children. She has so many people to squeeze in while she’s here…family and friends galore. Yet this is how she wants to spend her time.

Angel on earth, I tell you.

The time comes. McKenna is at first confused as to why I am picking her up from school early. Then she sees. I smile creeps across her face and she flies into her arms. A long hug, twirling around in the air ensues and it is all I can do to stop myself from tearing up. The principal looks on from his office with a huge grin on his face as if he knows he is witnessing something special. It is worth the missed afternoon for school just to see this. Theo is next. His back is to us when we enter. His teacher let’s me know that he hasn’t eaten lunch yet and I tell her it is OK. He hears my voice and comes to see. He runs right past me into her outstretched arms. He remembers. Like really, really remembers. He is giggling and smiling. She keeps saying he has gotten so big. He’s waving bye to his friends and walking out the door with her before I can even grab his jacket. George is a little more hesitant. He has always been my shy guy. He is torn between coming to see why I am there and starting to eat his lunch. I tell him it is OK because he is going to get lunch. Then he sees and sidles up to give one of his typical side hugs that linger just a little extra long. He’s confused and doesn’t understand that he is actually leaving. But then his smile turns broad and he keeps grinning like the others. We leave in a giggling mass.

You're so big.
I've missed you.
I can't believe you are here.
Did you know about this, Mommy.
This is a surprise!
We were just talking about you.
This is awesome.

They drop me off and they head out to a special day of lunch and fun at the museum. She checked the hours and said they are open until 4pm. She’s planning on staying as long as they want if that’s OK. Fine by me. We will be here when you get home.

I am writing for the 16th annual Slice of Life challenge presented by Two Writing Teachers.


  1. What a wonderful slice. So nice that you created this memory of this very special day. I love how it began so ‘off’ and ended so ‘on!’. And that photo says it all! Well done.


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