Paula Riggs hadn’t seen her son in two years when he surprised her at the school where she teaches
A Marine surprised his mother at work after a whole two years of not seeing each other. Two years. It’s hard to imagine going that long without seeing your child, and her reaction when she sees him is basically the sweetest thing you’ll see this week.
According to Today, Paula Riggs teaches third grade at Schrader Elementary School in New Port Richey, Florida. She was in the middle of story time when she got the best surprise a mother could hope for — her son, 24-year-old Sgt. Paul Riggs, was home after a three year deployment in Japan. It had been two years since she had actually seen him, so you can imagine what it meant to finally give him a hug after all that time. Here is the video. You’ll smile big through your alligator tears, promise.
Anyone else’s heart explode when she immediately started sobbing? And then further explode when she cried out “my hero,” or just me? So many feels.
As the video shows, Riggs thought this was just another day of teaching and was going about her business as usual. Of the plan to reunite her with her son when she least expected it, Sgt. Riggs says, “My sister Jennifer was the mastermind behind the whole operation. She found out our mom had kept saying, ‘Why can’t I get one of those military surprises?'”
Best kids ever, really.
And can we talk about how adorably excited her students are for her? By this time of year, kids are pretty attached to their teachers — I know mine are always very concerned about anything personal their teachers tell them. It’s likely that Riggs has talked about her son to her students and they must have made the connection when he walked into the room. It’s beyond sweet how happy they are for her.
As for Sgt. Riggs, he says he was nervous, but it all faded the moment he walked in and saw his mom. Watching the two embrace it’s obvious that they quickly returned to their usual mother-son closeness, despite having been apart for two years.
Most of us have small children right now and imagining these future moments when our kids aren’t inside of our homes, safe and sound, us knowing exactly where they are, is difficult. But the fact is, they’ll grow up one day and leave us and we will have to hope like hell that they stay safe and sound.
Thinking about all the worrying Paula Riggs did in those two years of not being able to see or touch her child is enough to make your head spin, but that’s what life as a parent is like. You love. You worry. You love some more. You hug them like crazy whenever you can. It’s all we can do once they aren’t under our roof 24/7.
We’re so glad for the Riggs family to have some time together before Paul leaves for office candidate school at the end of this month. We hope Paula gets as much time with her son as possible before being separated again.