DOUBLE SPRINGS - Six-year-old Abel Spicer got the birthday surprise of his life Wednesday, Jan. 29, when his daddy, Nicholas, surprised him after a six-month absence serving his country in the Air Force overseas in Qatar.
The homecoming at the kindergarten classroom of Double Springs Elementary School was a scene of warm hugs between father and son, as well as tears of joy not only from them, but Abel’s kindergarten teacher Susan Huddleston, Abel’s mother Dakota Bates and other staff present in the classroom.
Huddleston had strategically planned the homecoming reunion between father and son to be extra special, building in a strong reason for kids to have learned their sight words.
She also carefully planned that Abel’s mother would have a reason for visiting her son’s classroom in order to bring cupcakes for a special party honoring Abel’s birthday and for the entire class for reading and learning their sight words.
The plan was for Abel to read aloud the list of sight words he and his classmates had learned while his daddy sneaked into the classroom through a door that adjoins a neighboring classroom.
Nicholas was so quiet upon his entry to the classroom that Abel was unaware of what was going on, even when his daddy stood behind him in a group picture with the students.
Then, Huddleston told Abel to turn around, and what followed resulted in warm hearts and tears.
After a pause and a look of disbelief, Abel said simply, “Hey, daddy” and gave his daddy a big hug. As Nicholas knelt down to his son’s level, Abel climbed into his daddy’s lap, hugging and talking to his daddy.
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.