FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- A local mother got the surprise of her life just in time for Christmas.
Corinne Rose has the story from LaGrange County.
Ethan Harris, home after a year's tour in Afghanistan, gets set to surprise his math teacher mother, Kim, at a holiday staff breakfast at school.
"When he first walked in I told Amanda, I said, 'That's a really skinny Santa!'" Kim says.
A clearly oblivious Kim happily tells Santa what she wants for Christmas, and is stunned when her wish comes true before her eyes.
"I didn't recognize his voice. I guess I was in la-la land. I wasn't thinking. My mind is I am just so thankful he's home and on U.S. soil. That was my biggest Christmas present ever!" Kim adds.
And Ethan can't stop grinning, knowing she fell hook, line and sinker for his surprise.
"I gave her a call last night telling her I wasn't going to be home, telling her that she had to come pick me up, and whoa, man, she fell head over heels for it," Ethan says.
And he still can't believe how well he pulled it off.
"She didn't know. She didn't know. Didn't have an idea. You pulled the beard down? I pulled the beard down and I let her know that it was me and that one of her wishes came true this year," Ethan says.
"We are gonna go celebrate, gonna go celebrate. We haven't seen him, he has not met my granddaughter, so that was big on the list," Kim adds.
The Harris family has three weeks to get all caught up before Ethan has to rejoin his army unit.
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