October 02, 2009

rewinding the week, part 3

You can count on me... to keep a secret.
It is fun at first... to have a secret little dream tucked close to your heart. But as time passes, and the dream begins to grow, the secret is harder to keep and it just wants to burst out with shouting.
We had to wait a week... to tell the kids about Africa... until some of the travel books arrived, and until we could all be together. As each day of waiting passed, there were more phone conversations with my Mom, counting down the days, and being so thankful that we were not waiting until Christmas. And, at least, if we could not tell our kids about their grand surprise, Eric & I could whisper behind closed doors... because the excitement was so close to the surface and to not say anything was to chance the secret spilling out accidentally.
Perhaps by chance, Laura & Camden forgot to retrieve the mail from the end of the driveway... it is usually the highlight of their day. But for whatever reason, it was me who found the big thick envelope with the travel logo. I could not race to my bedroom quickly enough. I double checked to make sure the bedroom door was closed, and that if one of the kids happened to walk in, that I would be out of sight. Confident that the secret would not be exposed, I began to browse through the travel book and tried to absorb the reality. We are really going to Africa. Now, to keep the kids away from the mailbox for three more days...
By Sunday, my every thought was of Africa... and the need to tell was getting to me. Laura, did you finish up your laundry? We are going to Africa! Camden, make sure your backpack is ready for school. We are going to Africa! What should we have for dinner? We are going to Africa! Don't get the mail after school tomorrow... We are going to Africa! But my heart was somehow strong enough to keep the words prisoner in my head.
When the day of telling finally arrived, every fiber of my being was electrified with the excitement. I could barely sit still at my desk. And if both kids hadn't had important after school commitments, I would have raced home and sprung them from class. At ten to four, I finally declared that I couldn't take it any longer, and headed home, only to wait impatiently on the couch... and then finally it was time. I wasn't sure how my parents would tell them... but I knew it would be great.

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