“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough
to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles,
the character of an honest man.” –George Washington
On Tuesday, Rich was honored by the people in his office with a special dinner at a local restaurant. Very soon, he will be changing job positions and the people who have been working for him over the last several years wanted to have a chance to say “thank you” to him for all he has done. This was a very rewarding and satisfying night for my husband, who puts his hard work ethic, heart, and soul into his job. Everyone had such kind and respectful things to say.
When he was away on his latest business trip, one of the women called me to invite the children and I to attend the dinner. She requested that it be a complete surprise to Rich. I asked the older children to clear their schedules so that they could come along. Jacob was fine, Grace pushed back a little because she felt obligated to her music event after school that day, but after a discussion and a note written to her teacher, she was all set. Ethan refused to miss his soccer game so “fate” managed to make him cut his toe really bad and he was
able forced to miss the game. All set! *whew*
I decided to go shopping and buy the kids all new clothes, which they needed anyway. (they really did!)
I thought it would be fun to dress each of the boys in a blue dress shirt because that is what Rich typically wears. He has always loved searching for the perfect blue dress shirts. I went to Old Navy for the purchases….new shirts for all the boys, plus new corduroys for the three younger boys, and a complete outfit for Sarah. Grace didn’t need anything, as I had taken her shopping the weekend we went to Stockbridge. I washed everything and ironed. I wanted everything perfect, which meant I did everything with just a tad touch of overzealousness. As for myself, I had a basic black dress already in my closet, but I did buy some new black pointed toe flats.
I drove the children to the restaurant and parked in an empty business lot next door so Rich wouldn’t see our car. When Ali texted me the “all clear” we drove over, parked, and walked inside. Ali met us at the hostess table and walked us to the room where everyone was waiting and chatting. Rich had his back turned away from us. Caleb reached him first, and tugged on his arm. Rich stopped his conversation and looked down and saw his son. It was such a special moment. I was beaming as I watched his eyes *bug out* in shock. He was so happy and it was such a surprise to see the two worlds he loves so much collide.
We were the center of attention. None of the people who worked for and with him had seen him surrounded by his all of his family at once. Everyone loved the children.
(Oh I forgot to say …. that morning as he was getting ready for work I was asleep in bed praying that he would choose a blue shirt that day…and he did!! )
As soon as we were there and the initial greetings were over, several people gave speeches in Rich’s honor, thanking him and telling funny stories. Of course Rich, who truly has a tender and sensitive heart, cried, and it was so good for the children and I to come to a better understanding of how much good Rich does for the company, and how much he is loved and appreciated. I was so proud to be standing by his side.
After the speeches there was a sweet slideshow and that was fun, too. The man who put it together gave me a copy to take home (on a flash drive). Rich was given a plaque and the whole family was given a nice wooden bench to put outside by our pond.
Then we ate dinner and socialized. The kids were great. The only embarrassing thing that happened was Seth drank and drank too many shirley temples and in a coughing fit at the table, he threw up a little. That was really embarrassing because I was talking to a nice lady with my back away from Seth and she was the one who alerted me to the problem. Oh and Sarah was kind of shy at first (would not make eye contact or speak) but she warmed up after a good dinner.
Everyone you see in the pictures were part of the event…….
His picture was on the cake….
Caleb requested the piece with his Dad’s face. And he ate it, too!
Sarah made a connection with one of the ladies. Later one she offered to babysit Sarah if we ever needed one. 🙂
And this nice lady who is talking to Dave in the photo lives in the same town as the college Grace wants to attend in a couple years and offered to help her out at any time, and maybe even let her stay with her. (!!!!!!)
There were about 8 people in front of us, several of whom were taking photos. “Okay, you and your 80 children get ready for a picture” someone teased.
I love you, my husband and friend. I’m so glad the children and I were a part of your special night, as I know we are always a part of your life whether home or away. I’m happy to support you and share this busy but joyful journey of ups and downs with you. Always. Thank you for who you are and the work you do to support our family.