A ‘moving’ birthday party

Friends, family wish Grant Newton a happy 10th

A traditional birthday party includes friends and family, gifts and cards.

Grant Newton experienced a COVID-19 birthday party on Tuesday with family and friends, gifts and cards.

He felt the love… only at a responsible social distance.

Outside of his immediate family, all of the visitors kept their distance. A parade of about 30 cars drove slowly past on Tuesday afternoon, horns honking, and people waving, shouting, and holding signs.

Cards and gifts were left — for cleaning — in the driveway.

It was a surprise party that was close to a spoiler.

“One of my friends told me he was going to drive by,” Grant said.

His family made sure he thought nothing more of that. It was simple — he couldn’t have a traditional party under social distancing rules. Coronavirus made sure of that.

So, he hadn’t expected any guests — “just with my family, because we can’t see anyone,” he said.

But his parents sent out email invitations.

Mom (Kelly), dad (Scott), and sister (Lilly) made sure Grant was out in the yard at 2 p.m.

A line of a few dozen cars staged about a mile away at about 1:50.

Grant saw at least nine of his classmates, other friends, teachers, aunts and uncles, two former baby-sitters, and his school principal in the parade.

His grandparents and uncle in Florida enjoyed the party via video.

Family in New York sent pictures of themselves ‘driving by’ in their decorated car.

“We thought it was a good way to at least see people’s faces,” Kelly said. “We miss seeing everybody.”

But it’s the time we are living in.

It was a sentimental event for the family. “It was so good for the soul to see the faces of friends and family and even his teachers,” Scott said. “How much we all want and need that physical connection was moving.”

It was a successful event for the birthday boy, too.

“I got more people coming down than I would for a (traditional) party,” Grant said.

“Thank you for a great birthday. It was a big surprise and it made me feel happy. I miss you guys,” Grant wrote in a follow-up email. “Thank you.”


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