And here we are… a year later. Starting the second round of quarantine birthdays.
Last year, our world shut down on March 12. That was the last day of school. Stores were running out of toilet paper and paper towels. Coronavirus had hit our area. But we did not know our lives were going to be drastically changed over the next 12 months (and counting).
Just 11 days after we shut down, my son turned 3. His third birthday. The first quarantine birthday for us. A birthday that will never be forgotten. We decorated. Made an extravagant cake. Zoomed with everyone we know. Ordered his favorite takeout. Ate candy. Relaxed. Played games. Stayed up too late. We had fun. We made the best of it.
Little did we know, that style of birthday celebration was going to become the norm. We’ve had to be creative while also playing it safe — staying socially distanced, singing happy birthday via Zoom, dropping off or mailing cards and gifts, sending pictures via text and saying “happy birthday” over the phone, setting up drive-by parades complete with yard signs.
For my niece’s birthday, we did a drive-by hello and dropped off gifts.
For classmates’ birthdays, we’ve made homemade signs, decorated our cars, and beeped our horns.
For my other son’s birthday, we ordered an ice cream truck. Ellie’s Treats parked in front of my mom’s house for an hour, and friends stopped by, had an ice cream, and went on their way.
And just this past weekend, for my son’s fourth birthday — his second COVID birthday — we drove through the Hot Wheels display at Gillette Stadium and had lunch outside with family.
These birthday celebrations may be unlike anything we did before 2020. But we’ve had smiles, laughs, and fun. And most importantly… we’ve stayed safe and healthy while celebrating.