Coming of age in the middle of a global pandemic presents some logistical challenges: How to celebrate a birthday when gatherings of any kind go against statewide safety restrictions?
One Dorchester family found a solution. On Sunday, the Kazmouskis of Westglow Street celebrated their son Cole’s 10th birthday with the help of their school community in the form of a birthday caravan on wheels.
“Before all this happened, we were trying to figure out what to do for his birthday,” explained Cole’s father, Tommy. “Usually we invite a bunch of kids over and do a sleepover. But with all this lockdown going on, we were like, ‘what are we gonna do?’”
Kazmouski said a mother from Cole’s group of friends hatched the idea for a “drive-by-parade” to wish Cole a happy birthday from the safety of their cars.
“We didn’t really know what was happening, we just knew they would be there at 11,” said Kazmouski. “We were home waiting for Amazon birthday packages to show up, just praying they’d show up. Then all these horns started beeping. He didn’t know what was going on.”
Video of the celebration shows a caravan of cars proceeding up the street toward the Kazmouski residence, with families honking horns, waving signs and balloons, and handing birthday gifts over to Cole from their car window.
Cole Kazmouski turned 10 last Sunday, a dreary day weather-wise made much drearier by the “stay at home” directive that made any thought of a party a non-starter. But not for his fourth-grade classmates at St. Brendan’s School. As he stood outside his house, above, he could see his party getting under way up the street. Image courtesy Kazmouski family
Kazmouski said Cole, a fourth grader at St. Brendan’s School, was “completely over the moon. He had no idea what we were going outside for. It made his day, it made our day, and it was great because it’s just been so crazy lately.”
Cole’s mother, Amy, told the Reporter that the other families enjoyed the experience so much that it might become a tradition going forward in the friend group.
“The thing I liked most was that he was happier about [the celebration] than any of the gifts,” she said. “It was his best and favorite present, and you just could not tear the smile from his face that day.”