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Sky Diving: The Surprise Birthday Gift I Got Right

The Perfect Surprise Birthday GiftAs I have mentioned before, birthdays are big events in this family. At least, they’re big events for Casey and Addie, and the jury’s still out with Vivi.

My family is in the middle of birthday row right now. My birthday was in late March and Casey’s birthday is in late April, which is followed by Vivi’s birthday in early May. Throw in Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and our wedding anniversary, let’s just say that March through June can get pretty expensive and pretty busy.

Birthdays have never been a big deal for me. Sure, I like the things that come along with birthdays like ribs for dinner, cake for dessert, omelets for breakfast, and a few breaks throughout the day from my routine chores around the house, but that’s about as far as I go for my birthday.

Last year Casey, Addie, and Vivi were in Utah for my birthday while I was stuck back here in Indiana. I celebrated the day by going to The Hunger Games, which was disappointing, and by eating Burger King for dinner, which was even more disappointing. This year my birthday went even worse. Everyone was in town for my birthday, but for the first time in the history of my birthdays, it snowed. Throw in a grumpy baby, a dog that wouldn’t stop hunting our cats, and an ill-timed trip to the grocery store, and my birthday didn’t turn out so well.

That kind of a day wouldn’t be acceptable for Casey and it certainly wouldn’t be okay for Addie. Birthdays for those two need to be whole day celebrations and they need to be planned in advance.

Casey’s dream is for someone to pull off the perfect surprise birthday party, and each year she lets escape a little of her excitement hoping that I finally made her dream come true. Unfortunately for her, each year she has been disappointed because when it comes to arranging surprise birthday parties or celebrating birthdays in general, I suck.

There’s only been one birthday where I really surprised Casey. Early on in our relationship Casey told me how she always wanted to jump out of an airplane. I think she talked about it like it was something that would only happen far in the future after she had become a millionaire as she dreamed she’d be. Meaning, she never really thought it would become a reality.

A week before her birthday I saw a sign for a skydiving school in Utah and for the first time a birthday plan began to form in my mind. I contacted the skydiving school and paid for Casey’s skydiving lesson and dive with a credit card that Casey didn’t know existed. Then I planned the day around our trip out to the airport—an airport that was located in the middle of nowhere and Casey had no idea even existed.

Her birthday arrived and we drove out to the airport. The drive itself didn’t give any hints away at what was about to happen, so when we walked into the airport office and Casey saw the sky diving memorabilia hanging on the walls she was shocked and excited.

I have to give her credit, she didn’t show an ounce of fear when she found out she’d be jumping out of a plan thousands of feet above the ground. If I arrived somewhere and someone told me I was going to jump out of a plain, it’d better be part of some reality show where I can win a million dollars because otherwise I’d look for the nearest exit. Not Casey though. She took her jump out of the plane and she arrived on the ground several minutes later with a giant smile on her face.

And ever since I’ve been trying to outdo that birthday surprise, and every year I’ve failed.

Photo Credit: Flickr

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