What do most six year olds want for their birthday? For some it’s a new bike or a video game, maybe an action figure. For Derek Kirby, a kindergartener from Stillwater, he got something so much better.
Derek's father, Gary Kirby had spent the better part of the last year in Afghanistan as a specialist clearing IED's. Derek had been keeping in touch with his father vie Skype with the help of his mother Breanna, who really only told her son that his father was "on the other side of the world."
When Breanna kept the return date of her husband from her son, she wanted to do something very special to surprise Derek on his sixth birthday. Gary Kirby didn't know what his wife had planned either.
"I thought maybe I would just walk through the back doors and say, 'Yeah! I'm here!' but she said, 'No, no, no, we're doing the present thing.'" Kirby said of his wife’s plan, and he just went with it.
As Kirby hopped into a giant box that had been gift wrapped as a present, Derek was told that there were cameras at his party in order to send a video to his father halfway across the planet. When it was finally time to open the “big present” Derek ripped into the box that was bigger than he was, only to be stunned as he witnessed a uniformed man rise from the box.
"Hi!" Derek said, then paused.
Derek then snapped out of his phase of shock as he touched his father’s head to make sure he was actually right in front of him, as the two embraced in front of the smiles and tears of onlookers.
When asked what his favorite present was that he received for his birthday, Derek immediately exclaimed, "Daddy in a box!"