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Who’s knockin’ at my Door?

March 1, 2010

Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.

-Boris Pasternak

A good friend from long ago happened on my doorstep not long ago. In our early twenties we worked together, travelled together, and shared many good times.

Before Steph arrived with her twin boys and her parents, I told my kids a few things about her. She had the ability to make even the dullest job fun. When we travelled, there wasn’t anything she wouldn’t try, and together we explored most of Europe and North Africa. Over dinner, Steph recounted those stories to my kids, and slipped into accents that had them in hysterics.

Once Steph told me that she was the kind of kid who opened all her presents before Christmas, then rewrapped them so her parents would still think she was surprised. As a writer, I used that story in a character sketch. But when I recounted this piece of trivia to my kids, they were baffled…who would want to ruin a surprise? Why did it matter, then, if she rewrapped the gifts? It wouldn’t be a true surprise at all.

When I think of surprise, I think of Steph. She might have opened her gifts before she was supposed to, but her entire personality epitomizes surprise. Spending time with a friend like Steph, opens the door to unexpected adventure. Seeing her reminded me to add more to my own life. And while I don’t get to see her much anymore, a surprise knock on the door was the greatest surprise of my week.

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