As Dane’s 13th birthday approached, it seemed my newsfeed filled up with honking cars, yodeling people & the advent of the Birthday Parade. My heart sank. We are pretty isolated over here, far from family, far from friends. We’re even locally far from people we do know. And the Birthday Parades are not a German thing.

13 is a big year. It’s the year you become a teen! In our house it’s the year you can say the F-word without punishment. Not uncontrollably, but if it slips out or is really needed, no punishment. Some major side eye, but no punishment. I’m a big believer in guiding kids vs. tons of rules & punishment. The F-word is one of the biggest no-no’s in my house (and we are a military house) until 13. Dane couldn’t wait to turn 13.

I’d planned to throw a big bash. Like the year Dane is 10! An afternoon on the ropes course, a big BBQ with lots of saucy ribs, tons of friends and a healthy sprinkling of the F-word. And then.. quarantine, self-isolation, shelter-in-place. Corona. COVID-19. SARS-COV-2.

The world screeched to a standstill. People were suddenly to be avoid like the plague and Dane had his big birthday around the corner. For a long minute I felt like I shrunk tiny as an ant, the world looming over me, stopping me from giving him the birthday I so wanted to give him. And then, like magic, I remembered ants are tiny but mighty. I shook off my poor-me woe’s and faced the world as is.

Birthday parades are not a thing here. And we live too far for the people who would parade to drive out here. So that was a no. Visitors were a no. The ropes course was a no. That’s a lot of no’s. I pushed them away. And looked at what was a yes.

  • Zoom party with the family.
  • Favorite dinner.
  • Birthday Cake.
  • Decorate the house.
  • Presents!

Lots & lots of presents it turned out. My mom felt bad. I felt bad. Dave felt bad. Dane got spoiled! He got so many presents, I’m not even showing them all. It’s an embarrasment of riches. In fact, that kid got so many presents, zoom calls, deliciousness and love that at the end of the day I got a really big hug.

“Mom, that was the best birthday ever!”

Happy Quaranteen Dane! Swear away.