A Parade Full of Love



Carly Carver, Editor

The Ashland Beacon


   Being a child in a pandemic is difficult. Children do not understand why they cannot hug their best friends. Children do not understand why they cannot do all the things, school included, that they used to do. The world is different. Life is different. And it is a challenge for small minds to wrap themselves around. The hardest part is telling a child that they will not be able to celebrate their birthday with their classmates and friends, because we need to keep our household attendance to a minimum and socially distance. 

   My daughter, Allison, turns 8 on January 24, and we held her birthday party this past Saturday. None of her friends were invited, or her classmates, because we love them and want to ensure the safety of all. It was hard for her to understand fully, but she gracefully accepted the terms and kept her head up anyway. 

   I asked my little girl for her birthday list, and some of her key wishes that stood out to me was a new dog collar for her pet, a “big happy life,” and a “love parade.” 

   My daughter is beyond grateful for her life, and she is loving and kind-hearted, so this list made perfect sense for her. A big happy life and a love parade. Precious.

   I’ve never managed a parade before, and I was not quite sure what exactly a “love parade” entailed, but I knew I had to manage it. I had to give my little girl her dream. 

   So I reached out to the community of Wurtland, where I reside, and they showed up in a big way.

   Almost immediately the Wurtland Fire Department stepped in and said that they would not only be there but help orchestrate the parade by allowing cars to line up at the fire department.

   Next, a classmate, and some amazing friends stepped in and said they would be there.

   So Saturday came, and my daughter was grateful just to have the opportunity to celebrate with a “dragon cake” and love her family. 

   It snowed on her party day, which she said was “God celebrating” her birthday.

   I took her outside at the planned time. She was under the impression we were checking out the snow, and then she realized the sirens were coming down our road.

   She saw all of the cars, all of the fire trucks, and heard the voices of cheering and loving people wishing her a Happy Birthday.

   She turned around to look at me, and it was one of the most emotional expressions I have ever seen. She could not hold in the tears and cried the happiest cry.

   Cars drove by and wished her a Happy Birthday, and handed her flowers, and gift bags. She asked me if this whole parade was to celebrate her. 

   I told her that she was worth celebrating and she gave me a hug and cried into my side.

   The “love parade” is a memory my daughter will forever cherish. It is a memory that I will forever cherish.

  I am truly grateful to all those who came and showed my daughter the meaning of community.