Birthday surprise

It’s my wife’s birthday today. Last night, I took my youngest out shopping to search for a birthday present for her. He had a really tough time finding the perfect gift.

In retrospect, I’m not sure I was helping. “Find something that will surprise her,” I suggested. “People always like surprises on their birthdays.”

We searched and searched and searched. Finally, in a store called World Market, he spotted a blue peacock. About a foot long, it was made with real peacock feathers, and lots of glitter and faux gemstones. It was in a section of Christmas tree ornaments, though it clearly wasn’t an ornament. The only way to attach it to a tree was an alligator clip on its base – which would leave the thing hanging upside down if it were on a tree.

My son loved it. We double-checked the price to make sure it was within his budget, and then he checked to make sure it would stand up on its own on a flat surface.

Back home, we searched for a box. Unfortunately, nothing fit perfectly. The boxes we had that were big enough were too big, and the peacock seemed kind of delicate. We didn’t want any of the feathers to get knocked off.

This is where he took over. “It’s not a box,” he said. “It’s a home!”

Using different colored tissue paper, and Christmas wrapping paper for the outside, he turned the box into a peacock cave, with a little opening on one side where you could peek in at it. When you shone a flashlight into the box, the peacock glittered in the shadows.

He hid it in his room, and brought it out this morning to give it to her. I handed her a flashlight.

She peeked inside and a huge smile spread across her face. “Wow! It’s a peacock! Look at how it glitters!”

“And,” I said with a smile. “It even comes out.”

She glanced at me, suspicion in her eyes.

“Here,” my son said. “Let me help.” He carefully opened the front of the peacock cave, brought out the bird, and handed it to his mom.

“It’s soft,” she said.

“And it even clips to your shirt,” I added. “You could wear it to school.”

She laughed.

“No, you could.” My son said. “Look! You really could!”

Before she could craft a suitable reply, I jumped in. “The problem is that the kids in her class might grab it,” I said.

“Oh.” My son nodded. “That’s true. Better keep it in the cave while you’re at work.”

“Still,” she said. “It’s really cool.”

He laughed. “I bet you didn’t expect a peacock on your birthday!”

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