As Israel’s birthday approached this year, I was stumped to think what to get him. So I trod dangerously and asked him?
Expecting him to have an answer like last year (a Limited Edition Rolling Stones Photographic Documentary Book), I was surprised when he said “just time with the family”. Great I thought, what exactly does that look like that’s different to the time we normally spend together.
I started thinking idly about holidays but then our business calendar (& bank account) put that to rest. I thought about a special dinner out. Then I remembered we have 2 kids, one which is almost 2 and at the stage of development where everything is a search & destroy mission. Another idea gone…
Aha, I thought. Breakfast at a cafe on the actual day of his birthday. Alas, I remembered my family, including Israel are just no good unless they have had food by 7.15am. The chance of getting to an open cafe & having food on the table by 7.15am before head explosions started to happen were remote. But from here, my idea of a surprise breakfast at the beach was born.
By now, you probably know that Israel & I got married on Coogee Beach. Almost every Sunday that’s where you will find our family. So breakfast at Coogee Beach it is. Now how to turn that plan into reality without Big Dad finding out?
1. Enlist 6yo daughter in on the secret & ensure she gets her clothes out for the beach the night before. Warn her, I will be waking you at 6am to get ready. Please get dressed quickly – remember it’s a secret. She is pumped. She has made some special signs for dad & even written him poetry.
2. Secretly the night before the big day, make fruit salad, mini birthday cakes, pack breakfast bowls, swimmers & towels into bottom of the pram – all whilst Israel is working.
3. Set my alarm for 5am. Get up, blow up balloons & put them & Indrani’s birthday signs up around the house.
4. At 5.30am, act like a Ninja & leave the house with kids thick chalk in hand & start writing birthday messages on the path’s on the way to the beach. Set up birthday banners & signs at the beach & plead with the council workers to not let anyone pull it down or rub out the chalk.
5. Run like a lunatic back home for 6am stealth waking of kids. Get the little guy dressed whilst Indrani gets dressed, fortunately without the usual fashion show performance that takes place.
6. Get all the cold stuff out of the fridge & load it into the back of the pram (by this stage, I have to lean the pram up against the wall to stop it from toppling backwards).
7. Wake up birthday boy, let kids climb all over him until his sleepy eyes adjusts then tell him to get up, we are going out to the beach for breakfast.
8. Ready to leave by 6.30am – a miracle. Still plenty of time to walk down & set up before the 7.15am (time family must eat to prevent others from seeing a meltdown).
9. Lock up & slowly wait for dad to see the very first chalk message written on our pavers leading out from the house.
10. Enjoy a blissful morning with husband saying it was the best birthday ever. Ladies & Gents, my job here is done….
Until I decide to create a slideshow to celebrate the morning with the snapshots I took and overlay it with Indrani’s beautiful reading on her poetry to dad.
Now 3 weeks later, my job here is really done & here it is. Enjoy! Isn’t Indrani’s poetry just beautiful. Tears of happiness material.