What’s the best birthday present you’ve ever gotten?
Most people will answer that question with something material, like a bicycle or a fancy new iPhone. Yet as we all know, it’s not the material things that leave the most indelible mark on our lives; it’s the special moments between loved ones that make life worth living. If those special moments happen to come in the form of a gigantic birthday present with your name on it, even better!
Bridget Carr was turning 3 years old when she received the best birthday present any child could ever ask for. The child had been sorely missing her dad, a serviceman deployed to Afghanistan for the second time in his daughter’s young life. What she didn’t realize was that behind the scenes, dad Joshua Carr had been secretly planning his return to his family, which happened to coincide with Bridget’s birthday party.
“I don’t know exactly what gave me the idea at first,” Carr explained. “I think it stemmed from knowing I was returning home directly to my daughter’s birthday party. From that point, the birthday present concept followed logically enough. It was met with skepticism from my family members at first (worried she would be scared when I popped out), but I insisted and luckily for us everything turned out great. Her reaction was certainly priceless and more than I expected.”
As Carr crouches inside the appliance box that has been wrapped in birthday paper with a big bow on top, Bridget starts pulling the ribbon and doing her best to get at whatever’s inside.
“Are you sure it’s not a bike?” her mother asks from behind the camera.
Bridget seems determined as she pulls the paper from the box, but she just shrugs when asked what might be inside. Little does she know she’s in for the surprise of her life!
After a few minutes of struggling to unwrap the box, she lifts the cardboard back and BOOM! Dad in a box!
The look on her face is amazing! She’s shocked but instantly thrilled! There are no hard feelings about not getting a new toy or bike; she’s just 100% psyched to see her dad.
Carr later described how he pulled of the video with a little help from his family:
“While it seems like hours, really only a minute and a half pass before I pop out and I’d only been in the box for a minute or two before that. My mother wrapped the box and cut the bottom out, so when I arrived at my parents house (where my daughter lived while I was deployed), my mom placed the box over me as I crouched down. The hardest part was holding the sides to keep the box from moving. I didn’t want to shake the box too early and scare my daughter, Bridget.”
Long after the surprise wore off, Bridget was left with the warm, wonderful feeling of receiving the best gift a girl could ever ask for: her dad. “She still talks about it from time to time,” Carr said. “‘Remember when you were in a box and you surprised me?’”
Something tells us this is one memory she will never, ever forget.
Watch the adorable moment when Bridget opens her “dad in a box” below, and don’t forget to share.
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