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'We Are Thankful and Blessed': Families Celebrate With Social Distancing Drive-By Birthday Parades Amid Coronavirus

04-12-2020
Image Credit: Tye & Rebecca Kiskinis
Image Credit: Tye & Rebecca Kiskinis

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our lives in multiple ways - including how we celebrate milestone moments. But, some families aren't letting the virus upend their special occasion.

Drive-by birthday parades are popping up around the country, allowing family and friends to celebrate together - from a distance.

One family in Chesapeake, VA was overjoyed to celebrate their daughter Lilly's 2nd birthday on April 9. Cars full of balloons and happy birthday banners drove past their house.

Lilly's mother, Rebecca Kiskinis told CBN News that a parade was an ideal choice since family and friends live so close. 

"A majority of my husband's family and some of our friends live within five miles of us," she said. "A birthday parade was the perfect solution to finding joy in this most hectic of times." 

Coping with the harsh realities of social distancing have been challenging for Rebecca and her husband Tye, who are both school teachers.

"This time has been difficult in some ways, but a blessing in others," Rebecca said. "The difficulty comes in more relaxed ways, keeping the kids busy (Lilly has a 7-month-old brother), finding ways to get out of the house, and staying active. We are thankful and blessed."

Once the social restrictions are lifted, the family plans on having a pool party for Lilly to celebrate her special day again. In the meantime, keeping their family safe is most important. 

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"Lilly has brought so much joy to our lives and we are thankful to God for giving us this happy, healthy little girl!" Rebecca said. 

And on April 4, a family from Virginia Beach, VA celebrated their son Jay's birthday with a parking lot parade. 

The 7-year-old jumped up and down with excitement as his family and friends waved from their cars while wishing him a happy birthday. 

Jay's mother, Sarah Turney told CBN News that she started considering different ways to celebrate his birthday once the rules on social distancing became more strict. 

"We offered him some fun alternatives at home to help ease the disappointment. And he took it like a champ," Sarah said. "So when I decided to do the parade, we kept it a surprise."

"It was such a wonderful moment seeing his face when all his classmates started showing up in their cars with homemade birthday signs and noisemakers," she added. "I was so happy for him and so thankful to all the other parents who came out to support my son. It's a small moment in his life, but I'm sure it's one he won't forget." 

Sarah admits that managing the new routines and working full-time has been challenging for her and her husband James. 

"The hardest adjustment for us has been shifting to distance learning at home while we are both still working full time," she said. "Our children are still pretty young so they aren't independent learners, so trying to balance working from home and managing 'school at home' has been incredibly hard at times." 

They haven't decided if they will have a traditional party for Jay once social distancing has ended. Until then, she is staying centered on God's plan and purpose during this unusual season. 

"I'm looking forward to the fruit that will come from this time. I don't want to miss it because I'm too focused on what's maybe not as important in the grand scheme of things," Sarah said. "I want to keep my eyes focused on Him through it all. I think, in the end, that's the best thing I can teach my kids."

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many amazing moments as the world adapts to this new way of life. 

While our nation journeys through the coronavirus crisis, CBN News is inviting readers to share moments of hope through social media posts and video files by sending your links to http://Newswatch@cbn.org.

FOR CBN NEWS CONTINUING COVERAGE ON COVID-19, CLICK HERE

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