Dylan Workman is a typical 12-year-old kid. He recently went to the SouthPark Mall in Strongsville, Ohio, in search of Santa. It's high time to get that wish list to the Jolly Old Elf, after all.
So there's Dylan. Santa's saying "just look at the camera right there."
As the photo was taken, who should appear out of nowhere but his mom, Julie! There's a reason why this was such a surprise.
It seems that Mom Julie is also Naval Chief Petty Officer Julie Workman, who has been overseas in Bahrain since January who arrived stateside last month but had yet to make it back home to Ohio.
"I didn't know when I was getting to actually come back to Ohio," Workman told Good Morning America/Yahoo.Â "I found out Monday and flew home Tuesday. He knew I was in Virginia, but had no clue when I'd be home.â
She set the whole thing up with her sister-in-law who works at the mall, and Dylan's dad, Robert.
âI was nervous," she said. "My palms were sweating, my stomach was all tight, and I was waiting for the right moment. When my cousin saw Dylan get up on Santa's knee, he waved for me to come out. I didn't know why I was so anxious because this is my son. I was just so excited to see him! And how did her son react?
âHe was shocked. His jaw dropped and he didn't know what to do. When he jumped up and hugged me, he asked, âWhere did you come from?' He wouldn't stop hugging me,â Workman reported. Check out that hug, below.
Workman is looking forward to all of the little moments with her sonâmoments that many full-time parents who don't leave their kids for extended periods of time may take for granted.
"It's exciting just to be able to get back into the swing of things. I'm excited to wake up and take him to school and can't wait for him to get off the bus at the end of the day, and take him to basketball and play with the dogs and do normal things again," she said.
Here's a video of the entire pre-Christmas surprise that the whole Workman family will always remember!