Neighbourhood Throws An 'Isolation Drive-By Party' For Boy's Birthday

With the rules and restrictions to help stop the spread of coronavirus, many aspects of normal life have changed.

The ban preventing non-members of your household to enter your residence, as well as limiting social gatherings, means that birthday parties are going to be a little different for the next few months, especially children’s parties.

But different doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t be memorable and fun. Just ask Jenson King.

For Jenson, who celebrated his 8th birthday over the weekend, his planned ten pin bowling party with ten of his friends had to be put on hold. Instead, because of COVID 19, Jenson would spend the day at home with his family to do their part to help flatten the curve.

“We sat him down and explained the unique situation that was happening in the world and that even though we couldn’t go bowling, he could choose our ‘family menu’ for the day, which he was excited about,” Jenson’s mum Brooke told 10 daily.

Jenson celebrating his birthday with his family in their home. Image: Supplied

But one evening as Brooke scrolled through social media, she saw something she thought might bring back a bit of the birthday magic to her son’s special day.

“There was a social media story where a boy had to cancel his party, so to make up for it, all of his friends rode past the boy’s house on bikes to make him feel better,” Brooke said.

“I mentioned it to a friend on the phone and how I thought it was a great idea to do something similar for Jenson. By the morning, she had messaged his school friends to arrange an ‘iso party drive-by’.”

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The ‘isolation drive-by’ was kept under wraps from Jenson, who on the morning of his birthday was enticed to the front of their house to play a family basketball game in their driveway.

But after a few minutes of playing, Jenson heard something that made him realise that perhaps there was something else going on.

“We heard the convoy coming up the street, they were playing music, yelling out the windows of their cars, waving handmade signs, streamers and balloons,” said Brooke.

One of the many cars that drove by to wish Jenson a happy birthday. Image: Supplied

Upon hearing the noise and noticing familiar cars driving down his street, Jenson ran down the driveway. Where he realised that the procession of cars was his friends and their families along with the music, yelling, balloons, signs and streamers were for him to help celebrate his birthday.

“At first it was a bit weird when I heard the first car yelling out. Then I realised it was my friends in each car going past and thought this is cool,” Jenson said.

Brooke explained that Jenson began waving and yelling ‘hello’ and ‘thanks!’ as each friend went past.

After the 13th car, we realised the next car was a random man caught behind the convoy! He also yelled out ‘happy birthday’ which Jenson thought was hilarious!

But if the one birthday procession wasn’t enough, each car then drove back a second time and handed him presents, cards and balloons, adding an additional element of celebration to his day and also a bit of normalcy.

“It was such a delight to see the surprise and pure happiness on his face!” Brooke said. “He had no idea.”

Although this part of his birthday was the ‘main act’, Brooke said that other family and friends came to their house to leave presents on their doorstep for him, ringing the doorbell when they left.

Jenson with some of his gifts. Image: Supplied

Just as the ‘isolation drive-by party’ idea was discovered by Brooke on social media, she also attributes it for allowing her to share the precious experience with other family and friends during this challenging time.

Posting videos and photos of the event was not only meaningful for Jenson and his family but for others who viewed it, as it really showed that you can make the best out of a difficult situation.

Despite adversity, we can still celebrate what is important and who is important in our lives, even if it is a bit different.

As for Jenson, he absolutely loved his birthday surprise, telling his mum that it was “a 9.5 out of 10” followed by the question: “how we will top this for next year?”

Featured image: Supplied