What’s more exciting than learning a new grandchild is about to come into your life? Many expectant parents can’t wait to hop on the phone or drive over to let their parents know they’re about to become a grandparent. Others, however, prefer to spring the good news with a creative twist.
There’s no limit to the number of ways your kids might surprise you with news that you’re going to be a grandparent. These grandparents won’t ever forget the day they found out, thanks to the memorable way they were told that a new grandchild was on the horizon.
A Team Effort to Announce a New Grandchild
Jeff and Leticia Pizzino of Johnson City, Tennessee, found out they were going to be grandparents thanks to a team effort between their two daughters. Earlier, one daughter, Allegra Bel Embley, gave her parents a “Pizzino Family Celebrations” plaque she created for birthdays and anniversaries. On the plaque, she placed disks hanging from hooks for all the months of the year. It also included a disk for each family member with that person’s birthday.
When Allegra Bel learned she was pregnant in 2018, she asked her younger sister Arianna Gibson to help. Arianna created a new “surprise” disk to hang on the family celebrations plaque. So, Arianna hung the disk with news of the due date from the plaque while her parents weren’t looking. This was just moments before a video call between Jeff, Leticia, Allegra Bel and her husband.
“How’s that new plaque working out?” asked Allegra Bel a few minutes into the call. “Can we see it on the video?” Jeff and Leticia complied, pointing the camera towards the plaque. An unfamiliar disk now dangled below the month of October: “Baby Embley.” “We were so surprised and excited. This was our first grandchild,” says Leticia.
When Arianna became pregnant a few months later, she had her own surprising way of breaking the news. One day Arianna hand-delivered a box to her parent’s home. Inside the package was an egg (with its contents carefully removed). There was a note that said “crack me.” Inside the egg was a tightly rolled piece of paper with a message: “We’re egg-specting! Baby Gibson coming February 2019.”
“The way they told us heightened the moment of finding out,” says Leticia. “We were already having fun and they set us up with a prelude to open our hearts and then give us the really good part.”
Unexpected Family Photos
When Ellen Pober Rittberg, a writer living in Brooklyn, New York, accepted her daughter Kim’s lunch invitation, she had no idea of the surprise on the day’s agenda. Ellen also had two sons, but Kim was her only daughter and it wasn’t unusual for Kim to invite her mom to lunch or dinner. Sometimes they’d simply just take a walk through the neighborhood to take a break from their busy schedules.
The two had much in common besides their obvious familial ties. Both were involved in the media industry, Ellen as an author of humorous self-help books and Kim as a former television producer and an executive digital producer. Ellen had never pressured any of her kids to bring grandchildren into her life and didn’t expect any soon. So, a new grandchild was the last thing on her mind as the two settled in for a bite to eat.
But a few minutes into lunch, Kim pulled out a manila folder, saying she wanted to share some photos from recent family gatherings. “I opened the folder and there weren’t any photos, just what looked like an image of a sonogram. There was a disconnect for about ten long seconds. Then I cried tears of joy,” says Ellen. “When your baby has her first child, you start to feel like you’re part of this great wave of humanity and what we’re all about.”
“My daughter is very imaginative, so I’m not surprised she shared this joyful news in such a fun way,” says Ellen. “I’m always cheerful, and she is too, so what better way to share the news? It’s a more memorable experience than if she just told me.”
The Family That Fooled a Federal Agent
Joseph Gutheinz of Pearland, Texas, made a career as a federal agent interrogating shady characters with something to hide. In fact, he was so good at ferreting out the truth that by the time Joseph retired, he’d convinced his spouse and six kids that none of them could possibly keep a secret from him.
So when Joseph overheard his wife Lori speaking in hushed tones on the phone, he was certain he knew what was going on. He’d already been waiting a few days for results from a battery of tests to find out whether symptoms he was experiencing were caused by cancer. She must be discussing the results, he determined.
“I don’t want to tell Joe now,” Joseph heard his wife whisper. “I’ll tell him tonight when he’s with the rest of the family.” Immediately, Joseph resigned himself to the bad news, determined to be strong for his family when they eventually found the courage to reveal the tragic truth.
“It’s all over and it was a good life,” Joseph told himself. Then he got to work updating his will. That night, one of his sons came over. When Joseph walked into the room, everyone was grim. “They were so serious, and I’m thinking, ‘Okay, I’m going to die, but I’ll try to take it like a man,'” recalls Joseph.
Suddenly his son broke into a broad grin, informing Joseph that he was about to become a proud grandpa of a new grandchild. “My mood turned 180 degrees at the good news,” says Joseph. “And a few days later, I got more good news: I didn’t have cancer.”
For all the tough nuts Joseph once cracked as a federal agent, none were more tight-lipped than his wife and kids when it came to the carefully guarded news of a grandchild on the way. “My wife was trying hard the whole time not to look happy because if she looked happy, I’d guess what was going on,” says Joseph. “This time, they all succeeded in keeping the secret.”
A Very Baby Christmas
Elizabeth Brady and her husband Joe of Encinitas, California, were feeling a bit out of sorts on Christmas Day of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic prevented their large family’s annual holiday gathering, so Elizabeth, Joe and their teenage son found themselves celebrating alone. “It was so different and more quiet than what we were used to,” says Elizabeth.
Still, the trio was determined to make the most of the day. One by one, they opened their gifts. One of the last packages Joe opened was from their daughter, Caitlin, who lives in another state. At first, they were baffled by the contents: Baby bottles, a baby blanket and a pacifier. The package must have been delivered to them by mistake, Elizabeth told Joe.
Then they looked at the inside of the box lid. Attached to a sheet of decorative paper were two ultrasound images, along with a note: “Can’t wait to meet you. Due July 2021.”
“Caitlin doesn’t like to be the center of attention, so this was the perfect way for her to buffer the news a bit,” says Elizabeth. “We immediately jumped on the phone. Everybody was feeling so disconnected and opening that box made everyone feel close. Seeing that ultrasound just made it feel so real.”
Did one of your kids surprise you in a fun way with news that you were going to be a grandparent? Or maybe you’re the one who found a memorable way to tell your own parents that a new grandchild would be joining the family.
If so, share your story in the comments. Who knows? Your creative idea could even become a quirky branch on another reader’s family tree, creating good memories for someone else.