As a kid I hated surprises, but that’s because my parents would always tell me there was a surprise later, leaving me to wonder about it for hours. A really good surprise is just that – there is simply no idea that it is coming. It has been one of the best tools in my dad-kit and I’m dropping a big one soon.
Years ago I took GoofBoy up to my brothers to watch Return of the Jedi, without giving him any advanced warning. It blew him away.
The Goof trip to the beach this summer was another surprise bomb. We told the kids only about two hours before we left – and then only because we had to pack the car.
But I have a big one coming up!
Friends and regular readers know that this is especially big since I don’t particularly like – or even understand – football. But I will get a blog entry out of it – so that (and my son’s sheer joy) will make it all worth it.
In my day job I study terrorism, and that comes in handy for planning surprises. An effective surprise requires a high-level of operational security. No detail can be neglected or the whole thing can fall apart.
When my brother and I planned a surprise party for our parents’ 200th wedding anniversary we had code words, we took advantage of a weekend when my parents were away so that we could go into their house and get their address book.
For Operation Lenore I had to work with my mom to develop a credible excuse for why we had to take two separate cars to Thanksgiving. I spoke with my mom to make sure other guests were in on the surprise. She suggested I call them myself – but the more people I call the more likely GoofBoy will overhear.
“Loose lips sink ships,” I told her. Working this phrase effortlessly into conversation is one of my life’s greatest pleasures.
“Also, Mom – the codeword is ‘Nevermore.’” I told her.
“Why do we need a codeword?”
“Secret plans need codewords!”
I could actually hear my mom’s eyes roll over the phone.
Follow Operation Lenore in Real Time
I will be Tweeting and Facebooking the action – including, hopefully, pictures. If you aren’t already follow Father Goof on Facebook or Twitter to watch this awesome day unfold.
Someone should be very thankful!