We just celebrated a milestone birthday for the patriarch of the family, my mother, whom I will not divulge her age due to the fact I don’t want to be completely banished from the family. Needless to say it’s an age I shall probably never attain. The entire family had the same thought of having a surprise birthday party with everyone assembled, even the ones who traveled from far away. With a plan in place months before the event, devious lies being told and secrets held close the day approached. She seemed oblivious to the wheels turning all around her. Family and friends flew in, schedules changed, the special cake was made, the weather cooperated, luggage stored, cars hidden, cards signed and gifts wrapped.
The time arrived as everyone assembled in our mothers favorite restaurant before her arrival, que the problem; the one room designed for just a family gathering that had been reserved for months…was occupied. Text messages flew to my brother to slow their approach as we frantically worked with the restaurant to fix the problem. No other room had the feel and intimacy as the one we reserved. After much to do, the room was cleared before she got there; que second problem, the room comfortably sits eight people and we had fifteen. We really wanted the privacy so we added chairs; everyone was elbow to elbow with no wiggle room. The servers could barely get in the room, much less work comfortably. The moment came and her stunned expression was priceless, stealing away any worries of a plan gone slightly askew.
The evening turned out in amazing fashion. Not a thought was given to anyone being crammed in a small space. It’s funny how things work out, this unique family gathering turned out like every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner we have ever had; a large number of people sitting around a small table in a tight space. It was quite remarkable in its familiarity. It was not planned. It was not perfect as perfect is defined, but it was special and will never be forgotten.
I dare say perfection is overrated. I know my writing is not perfect and if you expect that, then disappointment will follow. Sometimes the flaws are what make us, in a sense, perfect. More often than not, what someone sees as an imperfection in another is the one thing you love about that person the most. The perfect things that happen are most often forgotten, they are the ones that don’t go right, at least in the beginning; those are the ones we remember the most. Strive to be perfect if you will but embrace those moments when things don’t go as planned, because in some way, that quirk of fate may be the secret ingredient giving life the flavor that will never be forgotten.