Covid-19: 4-year-old delighted with neighbors’ lockdown birthday ‘party’
When Emery Maclean began her morning confinement walk with mum Abby Vogel and older sister Avah, she quickly realized this one was very special.
Within minutes, the 4-year-old spotted a collection of balloons strapped to a doorway – and her mother told the shocked girl they were on her birthday.
Residents of the quiet side street of Christchurch had received a request the day before from Vogel on a social media group to put balloons on their mailbox or gate.
But neighbors on Forfar Street in St Albans had “gone the extra mile,” Vogel said.
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In addition to the balloons, the neighbors made signs, decorations and hidden gifts. A family of young roommates even pulled out a guitar and sang their happy birthday.
It all turned out to be the perfect pick-me-up after Emery’s birthday party with preschool friends at Chipmunks on Saturday had to be called off after the country entered Level 4 lockdown following the outbreak. of Covid-19 from last week.
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And told her extended family that she couldn’t come and celebrate with her on Sunday, Emery was “heartbroken,” her mother said.
“She could understand that places like the Chipmunks were closed, but she couldn’t understand why people couldn’t come to her house.”
Vogel said his daughter was absolutely delighted with the birthday wishes.
“We didn’t know what to expect, but she was in shock. She said: ‘Everyone knows it’s my birthday!’
Forfar St resident Prudence Thomson set up a social media group for street residents during last year’s lockdown.
“Just to support the community. Some of us who are essential workers and were driving were able to drop off food and just really check out the neighbors. “
Thomson met Vogel on another community social media page when she advertised for free lemons and asked if she wanted to join the street group.
“It was just because of his kindness to pay him next with the lemons, and we paid him back with balloons for his daughter.”
Thomson said the lockdown brought people in the community together.
“Through the lockdown, we have to know our neighbors – we walk the streets and talk to people more, and it’s a little nicer actually. “
Watching Emery’s joy of seeing the balloons and collecting the gifts – from a distance – was “just beautiful,” Thomson said.
During last year’s lockdown, teddy bears started popping up in windows, aimed at cheering children up on their daily walks.
Vogel said remembering them helped her come up with the idea for her daughter’s birthday.
The lockdown means schools and playgrounds are closed, and parents are looking for ways to keep children entertained.
People can still take children or dogs to a park or field for a walk, as long as they maintain social distancing.