When Carrie, mom of PCA preschooler Adeline, realized that her daughter would not be able to have a traditional birthday party or celebration this year due to social distancing guidelines, she started getting creative.
In early April, Carrie began planning a birthday “parade” inspired by others she had seen online. She extended invitations to her daughter Adeline’s friends and family, including her PCA preschool class. She also invited the local fire department to join in the celebration. “This seemed like a great way to see friendly faces and to connect from a distance to restore some sense of normalcy,” Carrie says.
On that Saturday, in celebration of Adeline’s birthday, PCA’s preschool teachers and families gladly participated in the social-distancing celebration. Pets, friends, and PCA Eagles joined in their cars, driving by Adeline’s home singing and sharing birthday wishes.
“It meant the world to us.” Carrie says, “PCA Preschool is our family. We are so connected to the teachers and a lot of the kids and parents. To see them all come out to celebrate sweet Adeline was very emotional and moving. Since attending PCA, the bond we have made with the teachers has been crucial not only for Adeline’s development and relationship but for myself and my husband as well. It really is a perfect depiction of a community.”
As for Adeline, the day was a perfect celebration for her. Carrie says, “Adeline was overwhelmed with joy and surprise. To see her friends and teachers in person (and not solely through a computer screen) and to be able to wave and exchange kind words from a distance restored some sense of normalcy for her. She was so grateful- she said it made her day!”
Harlee Tuttle, PCA’s Preschool Director, was among the guests at the birthday parade. Reflecting on the celebration, she says, “As I pulled into the neighborhood and saw the line of cars parked to greet Adeline and wish her a happy birthday, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I have known that PCA is a special community from my first day on campus, but driving into this parade and seeing the families come and go, all for the purpose of wishing one special little girl a happy 4th birthday wrecked me in the best way possible. This is community: coming out to celebrate in the midst of uncertainty, cheering each other on in love (while social distancing), taking the time to show how much others mean to us…This is family, this is love, this is PCA.”