+
More

Share in the joy of this dad's surprise reunion with his toddler son.

True
Delta

Watch Scarlyn and her son Liam's unique story, and scroll down to see how this life-changing trip came to life.

Scarlyn Cabral loves surprises. She just can't keep them to herself.

After spoiling a cousin's surprise baby shower, she's no longer trusted with family secrets.


"They don't tell me about surprises anymore," Scarlyn said with a laugh. "They used to invite me to the party, but now only after it's planned and like one day before."

So when Scarlyn won a trip from a Delta Air Lines contest to the Dominican Republic to see her son's father, Jean, she didn't think she'd be able to keep the good news to herself. Lucky for Jean (and all of us), she pulled it off perfectly.

Scarlyn, Jean, and their son, Liam. Photo courtesy of Scarlyn Cabral, used with permission.

Scarlyn and Jean's story began in an unexpected place, a call center in the Dominican Republic.

Scarlyn was on a long vacation to the Dominican Republic and decided to get a job. She found one at a call center and Jean was her supervisor. Their friendship quickly grew and the two started dating. A few months later, Scarlyn discovered she was pregnant.

Photo by iStock.

When she was six months pregnant, the pair decided Scarlyn should join her family in New York City.

Image via Delta/YouTube.

While opportunities for Scarlyn and her unborn son were much greater in New York, Scarlyn was devastated to leave Jean behind.

"It was really scary, having to come [back to New York] by myself," Scarlyn said. "I felt bad because I wasn't going to have him here for the birth... It was scary."

Their son Liam was born a few months later.

Photo by Scarlyn Cabral, used with permission.

Like many new moms, Scarlyn's priorities have changed since she became a parent

"I don't really think about myself anymore," she said. "Before, I used to make decisions like 'OK, I'm changing my major. I'm going on vacation.'... But after I became a mom, all I think about is Liam. ... What's better for him."

Image via Delta/YouTube.

While her romance with Jean fizzled shortly after Liam was born, Scarlyn made a commitment to continue communication for Liam.

They're a new kind of modern family. Scarlyn and Jean have a strong friendship based on trust and respect.

While Scarlyn is the full-time parent, she doesn't let distance stand in the way of Jean knowing his son. She uses emails, texts, and video calls to stay connected and familiarize Liam, who just turned 1, with his dad and other relatives.

Image via Delta/YouTube.

Though Jean receives photos and calls from Liam often, the distance is not for the fainthearted.

"When you lose something that fills you up completely, everything becomes empty," Jean told Delta. "It's something that sometimes you try to fill with work, keeping busy. But on the contrary, it goes on, you can't fill it up."

Image via Delta/YouTube.

That's why Scarlyn entered Delta's My Next Trip Back contest, for a chance to win a trip to the Dominican Republic.

She hoped to reunite Jean and Liam so they could enjoy some much needed father-son time.

Scarlyn won the contest. And needless to say, she was ecstatic.

I

GIF via Delta/YouTube.

But now came the tricky part — keeping it a surprise.

She told Jean nothing about her big win, but it wasn't easy.

GIF via "Saturday Night Live."

She covered her tracks until the very last minute, even playing a little digital deception on Jean.

"The day before, when I was here in New York, I took a picture of Liam and I in the bed. So I sent him that picture, when I was in the [Dominican Republic]."

The Delta film crew was interviewing Jean at a local park. That's when Scarlyn and Liam made an entrance Jean will not soon forget.

GIF via Delta/YouTube.

"You know when you know something, and you're hiding it, and you think everybody knows," Scarlyn said. "I thought he knew, but he had no idea," Scarlyn said.

"And then we hugged and we cried and everybody cried," she said. "It was so nice. It was awesome."

GIFs via Delta/YouTube.

And thanks to their Skype calls, Liam recognized his dad after just a few minutes. Cue the happy tears!

Scarlyn and Liam recently returned from their trip with many happy memories.

Scarlyn, Liam, and Jean enjoyed several days of fun in the sun, catching up with one another and taking in the sights and sounds of Santo Domingo.

It's a much deserved reward for a family that reflects a new normal of alternative families making life healthy and happy. Because that's what matters.

Image via Delta/YouTube.

Back home in New York, Scarlyn looks back on her recent trip with joy and gratitude. "I'm so glad [Delta] gave me the opportunity to go," she said. "We will not forget it."

GIF via Delta/YouTube.

Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tater Tots, fresh out of the oven.

It’s hard to imagine growing up in America without Tater Tots. They are one of the most popular kiddie foods, right up there with chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese. The funny thing is the only reason Tater Tots exist is that their creators needed something to do with leftover food waste.

The Tater Tot is the brainchild of two Mormon brothers, F. Nephi and Golden Grigg, who started a factory on the Oregon-Idaho border that they appropriately named Ore-Ida. The brothers started the factory in 1951 after being convinced that frozen foods were the next big thing.

According to Eater, between 1945 and 1946, Americans bought 800 million pounds of frozen food.

Keep ReadingShow less

Finally, someone explains why we all need subtitles

It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.

So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.

They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Developmental scientist shared her 'anti-parenting advice' and parents are relieved

In a viral Twitter thread, Dorsa Amir addresses the "extreme pressure put on parents in the West."

Photo by kabita Darlami on Unsplash, @DorsaAmir/Twitter

Parents, maybe give yourselves a break

For every grain of sand on all the world’s beaches, for every star in the known universe…there is a piece well intentioned, but possibly stress-including parenting advice.

Whether it’s the astounding amount of hidden dangers that parents might be unwittingly exposing their child to, or the myriad ways they might be missing on maximizing every moment of interaction, the internet is teeming with so much information that it can be impossible for parents to feel like they’re doing enough to protect and nurture their kids.

However, developmental scientist and mom Dorsa Amir has a bit of “anti-parenting advice” that help parents worry a little less about how they’re measuring up.

First and foremost—not everything has to be a learning opportunity. Honestly, this wisdom also applies to adults who feel the need to be consistently productive…raises hand while doing taxes and listening to a podcast on personal development
Keep ReadingShow less

A guy with road rage screaming out of his car.

A psychologist who’s an expert in narcissism has released a telling video that reveals one of the red flags of the disorder, being an erratic driver.

"Most people, when they tell the story backwards of a narcissistic relationship, are able to see the red flags very clearly,” Dr. Ramani said in her video. “However, seeing them forwards isn't hard. But if you see them too late, it means you've already been through the narcissistic relationship, you're devastated and have likely wasted a lot of time."

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, Professor Emerita of Psychology at California State University and author of several books, including “Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving A Relationship with a Narcissist.”

Keep ReadingShow less
www.youtube.com

Man hailed 'Highway Hero' for running across four lanes of traffic

Holy cow, Bat Man! You're always supposed to be aware of other vehicles when you're driving but what do you do when you notice someone has lost consciousness while speeding down the highway?

It's a scenario that no one wants to see play out, but for Adolfo Molina, the scenario became reality and he didn't hesitate to spring into action. Molina was driving down the highway when he spotted a woman in a blue car who lost consciousness as her car careened down the shoulder of the highway. The concerned driver quickly pulled over in order to attempt to rescue the woman.

But there was a problem, he had to cross four lanes of traffic on the highway just to make it to the woman's still moving car. That obstacle didn't stop him. Molina sprinted across the highway, crossing right in front of a black pick up truck before running at full speed to attempt to open the woman's door and stop her car.

Keep ReadingShow less