There I was sitting at my desk doing my daily word search when my oldest daughter, Alyssa, came up to me and told me the great news. “Dad, I got accepted into Tennessee!” “UT?, Oh my God, that’s great honey.” I told her as I got up and hugged her. She worked so hard to get into Tennessee and now she finally saw her work pay off. “Did you tell your mom yet?” “No, not yet, I was waiting for to get home to tell her in person.” she said. “I want to see the smile on her face.” she added. She’s always been one to truly cherish the moments of joy we share with each other, so that really didn’t come as a surprise to me. “Can you promise me you won’t tell Cameron and Adrena Lyn? I don’t want them to blurt it out the second mom walks in the door, plus they’ve been rooting for me so I want them to find out all at once.” she added. “Wait a second, why did you tell me already then?” I asked. “Well, I wanted to tell somebody and thought since you were the one who inspired me to apply there, I’d tell you first.” “I really appreciate all you and mom have done for me through the years dad.” she said. Who would have thought years ago when I decided to pick a favorite college football team that one day my oldest daughter would apply and be accepted into that same school. Her mom was going to be ecstatic and I figured it’d be best to celebrate the big news with a family dinner and Alyssa agreed. “I’d like to invite my friends too, since I haven’t told them either.” she admitted. Really? I asked. “Yeah, I figured if I told them, then they’d tell their moms, who might tell mom, and ruin the surprise.” Always thinking one step ahead, that’s my girl. Her mom and I always teach our kids to get ahead of the curb so that they can’t be caught off guard. I made some calls and invited everybody to our house for dinner over the weekend.
When her mom arrived about an hour later, I went upstairs to let Alyssa know and made sure that we were all in the room together for when she told them the big news. It’s always been something I’ve enjoyed, seeing others sharing a moment of joy with each other, and this being between my family was definitely going to be one of my favorites. “Hi honey. How’s it going?” my wife asked. “Great, how was your day, I asked back as I kissed her. “Really good, but you know what, it just got better finally seeing you.” she said. As Cameron and Adrena Lyn came running into the room excited to see their mom, she gave them both a big hug. “There are my babies. How was school today, good?” she asked them. “Yeah, I learned more about the solar system.” said Cameron. “I learned multiplication.” answered Adrena Lyn. “That’s great to hear guys.” my wife responded. “Mom”, Alyssa called as she made her way downstairs. “Hey sweetie, how was your day?” my wife asked. “It was really good actually, and I have something I want to tell you too.” Alyssa said. “But first, I hope your day was good.” she said. “It’s like I told your dad. It was good, but now it’s better that I get to see all of you.” she answered her. “So?, what do you have to tell me?” she asked. Alyssa asked her to sit down, knowing that her mom was the type to literally jump for joy over big news. “I got into Tennessee!” Alyssa said ecstatically. “Oh, my God, I’m so proud of you sweetie!.” said my wife as she jumped out of the chair. Cameron & Adrena Lyn, who were getting some crackers from the cabinet, asked what just happened that made mom jump so joyfully. Alyssa told them that she was going to the University of Tennessee for college like she hoped and prayed for. Cameron was like “Cool!” and Adrena Lyn started jumping too and went and hugged Alyssa. They then said that they knew that God would let her go to Tennessee. My wife and I embraced as well, so proud of our Alyssa, and soaked in the moment of seeing Cameron and Adrena Lyn being so happy for their big sister. It’s those type of moments I live for. Those four hearts that beat keep my heart going each and every single day. I thank the good Lord for blessing me with such a wonderful family and beautiful moments like this, they’ll never get old.