It seemed like just another Friday afternoon at Kwis Elementary School in Hacienda Heights, but 4th-grader Diego Wallace was in for a big surprise on his 9th birthday.
He had no idea his mother, whom he hasn't seen in nearly two years was waiting nervously nearby.
Navy Airman Arianna Basoco Wallace is home for good after back-to-back deployments in the Middle East and five years stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.
In the classroom, Diego's 6-year-old sister Josie thinks she's in class just to celebrate her brother's birthday.
Diego plays it cool, but Josie, 6, doesn't hold back.
"She surprised me 'cause she said she was going to come on the other year but I'm glad that she's here today!" said Josie.
The reunion was emotional for the entire class. Despite the cupcakes and juice, some kids can't hold back their tears.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Diego said the surprise was "one thousand!"
And mom, who was afraid Diego and Josie wouldn't recognize her after her time away, had nothing to fear.
"It's nice to be home and not have to worry about leaving again," said Arianna.