Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Well, my husband was able to fool me twice. For the second time since we’ve been married he has pulled off a surprise birthday party for me, and I never suspected a thing.

He wanted to do something last year when I had my, um, Milestone Birthday, but I was dead set against it. And I figured he wouldn’t try anything this time. And he gave me a too-extravagant birthday present last weekend, before my birthday, because he knew I’d be spending my day at 3 Command-Performance Events: a birthday party for the neighbor’s 6-year-old; Big Brother’s school sports physical, and SFO Elections.

I was totally amazed. With the help of Middle Sister, who loves to plan a party, and our wonderful friends who agreed to host the party at their home on 3 days’ notice, my husband saw to it that there was a great party with lots of friends, food and fun, and I never saw it coming. Not even when I walked up the driveway, and saw some other friends’ cars, and balloons and streamers. And then I walked into the garage to put down the salads I had brought to contribute to the potluck picnic I thought was happening. Never noticed the cake box. I’m lucky I didn’t fall right over when they all yelled “Surprise!” I did run back into the garage, though, until I could breathe normally again!

I think that my own kids, and my friends’ kids, asked me once per year of my age, if I was really surprised. They were so proud of themselves for putting one over on a grownup. One of my friends’ teenage daughters confided, “My mom doesn’t like secrets. But she let us break the rule this time.”

I’d like to thank our good friends the Ultimate Party Host and Hostess, for their unbelievably generous hospitality (and for breaking the Secret Rule); their teenagers (AKA The Girls) for all the colorful decorations as well as general party help and amusement of smaller children; Big Brother for babysitting Little Brother while Daddy and Middle Sister did the party shopping and delivery; Middle Sister for helping plan, shop, decorate and keep the secret; our friends who attended and brought side dishes, fruit, and dessert to share at the party; and my Terrific Husband. I love you all.

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