When I worked at Cranium (before it was sadly decapitated by Hasbro) we had a saying we applied to every game and toy we created:
Surprise and delight.
When I think back to my childhood, it’s the “surprise and delight” moments that really stand out—something wonderful that happened on some ordinary day, suddenly making it extraordinary.
I recall a few of moments like that:
- My dad surprising us with a “beauty shop” bath time, complete with our choice of hairstyles from the J.C. Penney catalog. (Of course, our hair didn’t look anything like those pictures afterward, but we forgave him.)
- My best friend Sarah slipping me a top-secret letter at school. (It was a drawing of me marrying Michael Jackson with our Cabbage Patch Kids as witnesses.)
- A rare night when my sister’s bedtime antics yielded us a fresh batch of popcorn and a late-night movie as a family.
- Answering my door to find my Uncle Bob from Michigan on my Indiana doorstep, a surprise stop-over on his business trip.
- My mom taking me on a Saturday morning bike ride to the store without my little sis and buying me my first blueberry yogurt.
- My Grandma Meana taking a break from cooking to teach me checkers, sheets of drying homemade noodles stretched out all around us.
The point is, it takes just a little effort to add some big joy to a child’s day. All you need is spontaneity and bit of creativity.
So today I’m going to surprise a couple small friends of mine. I bet they’re feeling a little confused and scared right now because their mom just started chemo. Of course a note and some stickers can’t solve that (if it could, I’d devote all my days to it), but hopefully they’ll be surprised and delighted.
What have been your favorite “surprise and delight” moments, both given and received?
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