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Parents find creative ways to celebrate birthdays while remaining “Socially Distant”

The birthday boy, Jonathan Mock, stands near the street watching his birthday parade pass by. His aunt, Timika Crosby, blows him a kiss from the car she is riding in since she is not able to kiss his face due to social distancing because of the current pandemic.
Photo by Christie Slocum

As the coronavirus continues to spread, Talika Green knew she would have to cancel her now seven-year-old son’s Baby Shark’s themed birthday party. But he did not have to spend the day alone.
On Saturday, April 18, carloads of friends, family and total strangers drove by the Greens’ home on Dowling Ave to wish Jonathan a happy birthday from their cars. They blared music, waved signs and blew their horns as they drove past. A few passed gifts to Jonathan through an open window. His mom and stepdad watched the procession with his brother from their front yard slightly behind him so he stood out to all that showed up to celebrate him. Jonathan stood in the driveway and waved to them at a distance, giving “air high fives” to his friends.
The “Shark Attack Birthday Parade” was organized by his mother. She sent special invitations through social media to many of his friends and family that would normally be invited to a birthday party bash in the back yard. On the invitation, she asked folks to please “remain in your vehicle and follow the first car to our home”. She also asked them to keep it a secret as she wanted to give her son an unforgettable birthday. She reached out to the City of Walterboro’s Police Department, Fire Department and to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department and asked for their assistance. They were happy to be a big part of his celebration as they have been showing up for “Birthday Parade’s” a good bit since we have all been asked to “Stay Home” by Governor Henry McMaster to do our part to help “flatten the curve”.
It was the mom that got the big surprise as she had planned the special celebration for April 16th. She was in disbelief as their neighborhood suffered heavy tree damage from the recent tornado that tore through the city on April 13th. The day before the original drive-by was scheduled to happen she knew there was still too much debris on the streets in their neighborhood for the parade to happen so she sent out an amended invitation explaining the parade would need to be moved due to the “Corona Tornado”. Thankfully, folks understood and still showed up for Jonathan a few days later once the roads were cleared enough to pass through.
The spunky seven-year-old is a first-grader at Bells Elementary. A once super-shy child has blossomed socially while in Kawai Elliott’s class. Like most school-aged children he is missing his teacher and friends. His face lit up when he saw his teacher ride by in his birthday parade. “The parade was a total shock to him because he was expecting folks to show up for a party”, said his mother. As for Jonathan, he plans to spend the next few weeks remaining socially distant while he rides outside on his favorite gift, his new Razor scooter.

Christie Slocum (595 Posts)