Scot's 40th birthday was in early August. His parents planned a surprise party for him, but I saved my gift for last. I told him I had bought something and that it would take a few weeks to come in. Little did he know what I had up my sleeve...
One night after dinner, he started planning his soccer coaching schedule for the fall and I knew it was time to get his present ready. I wrapped a little toy plane and let Scot go to town, while the kids anxiously waited to see what he got.
"It's a box, wow!"
I explained that Scot was going on a trip and he'd be leaving on a plane in a few days. On Tuesday after work, to be exact.
He asked a lot of questions.
"Where am I going?"
"How long am I going to be there?"
"I haven't okayed the time off from work!"
"Who's going to be picking me up?"
"What do I pack?"
I told him I had been planning this trip since February. I had called his boss and gotten approval for the time off from work months ago. And that's all I could share.
Five days later, his bags were all packed and ready to go. While he was away at work, I wrapped a new Alabama hat I bought and hid it in his bag to open later.
I got his favorite snacks, candy and gum ready for the trip. And I put cash and his boarding pass in an envelope with strict instructions to only "open at airport."
He opened the envelope as soon as we got to the airport. The kids couldn't wait to hear where daddy was going.
The verdict: Dallas, TX to visit his best friend, Todd.
Scot was so excited!
All of us were sad to see him go, but this man deserved to get a break and have some fun. After all, the big 4-0 only comes around once.
And then we were off. Anxiously awaiting Scot's safe return.
Other surprises along the way:
Scot's second flight from Houston to Dallas got cancelled due to a temporary network outage. Thankfully, the airline switched his flight to a direct one from Nashville to Dallas that same night. Bad part: His bag got left on the plane to Houston, so he had to wait 24-hours to pick up his bag at the Dallas airport.
Todd surprised Scot with tickets to a Rangers baseball game one night.
They played golf, arcade games, went bowling and ate at some yummy restaurants.
He had no work or responsibilities for five whole days.
The biggest surprise of all: Tickets to the Alabama vs. Michigan football game at the Cowboys Stadium, with free box seats to boot! Air-conditioning, comfy seats, private bathroom, catered BBQ with all the fixins.
Scot had the time of his life. I know he missed us, but I could feel his excitement bursting through the phone each day.
It was a memorable 40th. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the best husband and father we know.