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The Lake News Online
  • My view: Unexpected beauty of happy surprises

  • Most people have seen the viral videos on YouTube, Facebook, local news... heck, even Entertainment Tonight plays them: the return of a soldier from abroad to greet an unknowing family.
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  • Most people have seen the viral videos on YouTube, Facebook, local news... heck, even Entertainment Tonight plays them: the return of a soldier from abroad to greet an unknowing family.
    Most families collapse in a heap of emotion and hugs while onlookers reach for a handkerchief or cover their mouths with their hands in elation and joy.
    It’s an ephermeral sign of hope, happiness and pure love.
    Beyond the family reunions, even the videos of soldiers reunited with pets get air time. Who wouldn’t love a faithful golden retriever simply quivering with happiness at the return of his loving master?
    Tearjerkers, those videos.
    On Friday, I witnessed a surprise homecoming in person. Hopefully you got a chance to read my article in Monday Lake Sun, but if not, here’s the gist: a soldier deployed to Kuwait for more than a year returned to Osage Beach and popped in to his daughter’s preschool classroom unexpectedly. Cuteness ensued.
    I scrambled to take photos of this touching moment between a father and daughter. I hope I captured the true emotion of reunion.
    Videos and photos don’t do the scene justice. The sight of that little girl running across the chaotic classroom, zeroing in on the one thing that mattered in that moment — leaping into her father’s arms — is one of the highlights of my time at the lake so far.
    Little Kennidy didn’t realize that morning when she put on her pink tennis shoes that her father would give her the happiest surprise of her young life.
    Sadly, the pure of happiness of surprises fade with age.
    Ask many adults how they feel about an impending surprise, and you’re likely to receive a less-than-enthusiastic response.
    Society trains us to expect the bad to happen. The most rampant disease in the world is pessimism.
    So, naturally, many people fear the worst in surprises.
    Today — and I mean literally today, Tuesday, May 7 — I’m expecting a surprise of my own.
    Today I should become an uncle for the first time. My sister and her husband are expecting their first child. Boy or girl, we don’t know. As my mom put it, the gender of a baby is one of the true surprises this world can offer.
    I expect the next few years will be full of surprises as I watch my niece or nephew grow, accomplish new things and become a little man or woman.
    I plan to embrace these surprises with open arms. But you may say, sure, it’s to accept the nature of these future surprises when they involve a baby.
    Page 2 of 2 - I agree, but to close oneself off from surprises as a whole only denies oneself from experiencing unexpected joys — which are some of the best joys life can offer.
    Kennidy was young enough to not close herself off from experiencing the emotions of a real surprise and I expect she’s probably still smiling.
    My sister and brother-in-law chose surprise, knowing that they’ll be happy either way.
    (For the record, my guess is a boy, I’ll let you know next week if I’m right.)
    We live in a world that ingrains fear and skepticism, and all it takes is a nice surprise to instill that there are people in this world worth surprising. And beyond that, there are surprises worth receiving, if you open yourself up to it.
     
    -Eric Dundon is the Editorial Content Manager for the Lake Sun. Email him at edundon@lakesunonline.com with a surprise of you own (preferably a nice one).

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