And This Is Why He’ll Probably Never Work For The FBI.

Years ago, our neighbors bought a bicycle for their son Julian, who was celebrating his eighth birthday. It was his first bike, and they asked us if they could hide it in our garage so they could bring it out at his birthday party a couple of days later. We were happy to help, and Jim hid it in the back part of the garage. Jim told our boys, then six (ish) and nine (ish), that we were storing the bike for Julian’s parents, for his birthday.

On the day of the party, the boys were playing outside while Julian’s parents were finishing up the decorations and other details. Eventually they gravitated towards our open garage where Jim was, probably working on a project or cleaning up from one. The younger boy, without warning and much to Jim’s dismay, took Julian right over to the bike, not only showing it to him but declaring, “Look what *we* got you for your birthday, Julian!”


Not only was the cat out of the bag about the bike, but our son single-handedly killed the buzz of Julian’s parents, who were extremely excited about presenting him with his first bike.

Jim had to run interference, sheepishly correcting the younger boy and setting the record straight about who bought the bike for Julian, telling him that it wasn’t a gift from us, it was from his parents. Then he and I had one of those ohmygodhowembarrassingthatoursonspilledthebeans moments, and when we headed next door to tell the neighbors what happened, we all laughed. Kind of. They mostly had a good sense of humor about our adorable little cherub ruining their surprise, but naturally they were a little disappointed.

That disappointment wasn’t soothed in the least when, upon being presented with the bike in front of a full house of friends and family, Julian looked at US and said, “THANK YOU FOR THE BIKE!!!!”


It took us a while, but we finally convinced him that, again, it was his parents who actually bought him the bike, and we were responsible for gifting him with one of his favorite movies on DVD and that was all.

Over the years, we relentlessly teased the younger boy about his loose lips, but it gradually faded off into our distant memories.

Until this past weekend.

On Friday, the younger boy and I headed to our local Blockbuster Video store, which just announced its impending closure. We strolled up and down the aisles of clearance DVDs, trying to find movies we couldn’t live without. (“Mad Men” Season 3: $19.99 FTW!) I said, “We need to find something for Dad, for his birthday.” A couple of minutes later, the younger boy picked up one of Jim’s favorite recent movies, “Ghost Rider”, and said, “How about this one?”

I bought it, and stored it with the other birthday gifts when we returned home.

On Saturday, the younger boy was telling Jim about Blockbuster and how it was closing, and how we picked up “Ghost Rider” for him…

Apparently my eyes nearly bugged out of my head when I gave my son the look of death, and then I looked at Jim and said, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

Jim laughed his head off; the younger boy was horrified, sputtering, “You didn’t tell me it was for his BIRTHDAY!”

“Oh yes I did!” I replied.

It wasn’t nearly as bad an indiscretion as the bike situation, but we figure it’ll give us about eight to ten years of relentless teasing, until the next time*.

*For the record, the younger boy really does know how to keep his mouth shut. Part of the reason why this weekend’s breech in security was so funny is because it is so out of character for him. Also for the record? The minute this happened, Jim said, “You just gave Mom her next blog post!” So true.


©2011 Suburban Scrawl