You may have noticed I didn’t post a blog last week. That’s because I was enjoying a week with my son, his friends, and their parents in Mexico. My 50th birthday also happened to coincide with our time in the sun, and I thought I could squeak by without much fanfare. After all, the week was supposed to be just about celebrating the boys’ graduation from high school, right? Wrong!

Who knew my friends (and all the boys) would throw me an impromptu 50th birthday celebration in Mexico and catch me completely off guard? It was a night I won’t soon forget, and I want to send a big thank you to all of them for making me feel so special on my big day.

Here’s how it all went down:

I thought our little group of parents was going out to a restaurant in the cute town of Playa del Carmen. I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about going out that evening, because I had a wee bit too much fun the day before with the moms by the pool…and then during dinner…and again during the nightly Mexican entertainment show—if you know what I mean!

But, I rallied back and began getting ready for our evening out. This was quite difficult when I had several Senior boys parading in and out of my room throughout the process. Did I mention the room is an open concept with no doors for privacy?

As the boys chatted about their plans for the evening, I began receiving texts from different parents telling me to come to the Steak House. I didn’t really think anything about it because I was still in my room with a towel wrapped around my wet hair, trying to get dressed with three 18-year-olds in my room! Not at easy task, to say the least.

When I walked into the restaurant, there was our entire group seated at a table for 20. Let it be known that restaurants at all inclusives DO NOT allow large parties to be seated together. Fortunately, a couple of my “dad friends” were smart enough to get to the Steak House as soon as it opened and gave the staff a little “grease,” as they called it, to secure a spot for 20 guests.

I was happily surprised (and relieved that we weren’t traveling into town) to see all my friends waiting at the table when I walked in and to hear them yell, “It’s your surprise birthday party here at the Steak House!” The celebration continued throughout the dinner, complete with me in a sombrero, a little kiss from the waiter, and a dance from another waiter (at least I think that was a dance). The evening concluded with a great round of “Happy Birthday” sung by our entire group and a cake perfectly decorated with “Feliz Aniversario 50!” brought to me by my favorite “blueberry blue” Senior hockey players. Wow—presents, dinner and time spent with a great group of friends! I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

Of course, there was more in store for me that night. As I sat in my chair and watched the nightly show in our hotel, I was called up on stage while the entire audience sang “Happy Birthday” to me. And the fun kept on coming. The host of the show did a cheer for me, and we did a shot of tequila together on stage. So, who gets to say they were serenaded by a great group of boys and an entire crowd on her birthday? I do!

Again, thanks to everyone who pulled off a terrific impromptu birthday surprise for me. From the dads who sat and held the tables, to my friends and friends of my son—you all made turning 50 seem not so bad after all. Like they say, 50 in the new 30. I’ll keep trying to convince myself of that.

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