I’m going to start off with two quick apologies. First, for not having blogged in forever, and second, for not having written this specific blog post sooner, explanation to come.
I got the idea a few days ago to write a specific type of blog post (that should be going up in the next few days) and began thinking more and more about what to include in this post. As I was thinking about the post though, I began to realize an even better topic for a post that I should’ve blogged about the very day that the topic was brought to life. This passed-up blog-post topic was of my mom showing along the route in Oklahoma for the weekend of my twentieth birthday. It was quite the pleasant surprise.
On April 12th, the Friday of my birthday weekend, the route was from Chandler, Oklahoma to Tulsa, Oklahoma where we resided at the Blackstock’s home (Shoutout to Erin and her family for their hospitality!). I thought it was going to be a normal day of the trip, no different from all the rest, but the team did a great job of hiding the secret from me that my mom was going to be there when I arrived.
We all rode the last section of the route together and were all chatting with high moral knowing that we were close to the end. The group rounded a corner and began coming up the final hill through the neighborhood as I noticed what looked like my mom in the distance. I figured it was probably just someone who looked like her, but as I got closer sure enough it was her and my stepdad waiting for me to arrive. In complete confusion and surprise, I uttered “What are you doing here??”. I was fazed by the situation and didn’t even know that to think as my mom stood there and grinning and smiling from ear to ear. “I couldn’t miss you twentieth birthday”, she said, “It’s too important!”. My mom was quite proud of herself, and she had good reason to be.
The next day we went to lunch with the group after they finished the solidarity ride, and then went to the aquarium to spend some more time together. Later we had a cookout at the Blackstock’s outside by their pool and hot tub, and the crew surprised me with a birthday celebration. My birthday was actually on Sunday, the next day, but it was easier to have the celebration then with the day off (of cycling). Regardless Scooby-Doo party noise-makers were used and strawberry cake was eaten.
But no birthday party is complete without gifts! Well, gifts aren’t necessary, but of course they’ll always appreciated. To be honest though, I wasn’t expecting any with the exception of my parents getting me something later. But I guess I underestimated my fellow cyclists. At a flea market earlier in the week, they managed to buy me a few things. A plushie Kermit the Frog, a red-velvet cowboy jacket, a way-too-big cowboy hat, a creed cd, and a special edition Hannah Montanna bicycle helmet. The helmet was their proudest achievement as it goes along with the frequently talked about argument that my normal helmet quite fit my head. They gave me all of these things in a less-official, but not less-enjoyed, birthday celebration on my actual birthday. My birthday was actually celebrated a week beforehand at The Big Texan steakhouse too, so you could say that my birthday was quite drawn out. Not that I’m complaining though.
The weekend was a blast thanks to the group’s shared excitement, but more importantly to my mom surprisingly showing up for my birthday. She put a lot of effort into coming out, and even took two days off of work for it, and I’m very appreciate of what she did for me. It was nice to see a familiar face after having been away from everyone for so long, and especially to see her’s at that. So thanks mom, for not only doing this, but for everything that you’ve done for me over the years. I know it might not always seem like I appreciate the things you do, but I do, and I love you. Thanks again mom, you’re the best.