Eight-year-old Abby DeLauro thought Thursday would be like any other school day at Washington Oak Elementary in Coventry.
But her mother, Jenna Quinn, had different plans. She arrived home from Afghanistan just in time to surprise her daughter.
"We've been counting the days ever since she left," Abby's stepfather said.
It was a sweet surprise in Abby's third-grade classroom and one she didn't see coming.
"I'm really happy," she said.
With the Rhode Island National Guard, Quinn has been away from home for many months. Abby said it's been hard without her.
It's been hard for Quinn too.
"It's trusting everybody else with your kids and hoping that they do the right things and that she thrives while I'm gone. And she did," she said.
Abby did, with her stepfather in charge.
"It has its challenges, that's for sure. But the key is to take it one day at a time, establish a routine and follow it," Abby's stepfather said.
Quinn said she doesn't have big plans for the holidays, and just wants to spend some time with family, friends and of course, Abby.