Making Lemonade Today Out of Lemons – Birthday Parade

Today was Amelia’s birthday.  It turned out to be a grand event.  Life has given us lemons recently.  It has given everyone lemons, and we made the finest lemonade.

We had a Birthday Party Car Parade!

I arrived at Amelia’s house, ready to take pictures when the cars full of her classmates would drive by, honking and cheering.  I stood in the yard at a distance.  It was hard not to run up and hug her.  We both understood.

Amelia was all decked out.

“Jennie, I got dressed up for my party.”

“Yes, you did.”

“Can you tell me a story for my birthday?”

“Sure!  What story do you want to hear?”

“The Tree Story.”

So, with great fanfare I told Amelia The Tree Story.

We heard a police siren.  That was the escort for the parade of cars.  Oh, it was a grand parade.  Cars were decked out, classmates were cheering.

The posters and cars looked like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Children were more than excited, because they have not been together for three weeks.  This was big.  Children dropped cards out the car window for Amelia.

They worked hard at home to make cards.

I was overwhelmed.  Watching every car that drove by with her classmates was like finding a long lost friend.  I hollered and waved.  I was loud.  I was filled up.  Making lemonade is a wonderful thing.  Happy Birthday, Amelia!

Children make your life important.” Erma Bombeck


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Expressing words and feelings, Family, Giving, Giving thanks, Inspiration, joy, Kindness, Love, preschool, young children and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to Making Lemonade Today Out of Lemons – Birthday Parade

  1. Ritu says:

    How lovely 💜💜💜

  2. Opher says:

    Wow!! That was a birthday to remember!!

  3. beetleypete says:

    What an amazing thing to do. I am sure she was thrilled!
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. Darlene says:

    How wonderful for everyone. You must have been delighted to see everyone. Unfortunately, that would not have been allowed here. I hope the cards were wiped down before she opened them. Crazy how we think now. I watched a movie the other day where everyone hugged and I thought, oh no, I hope they don’t get sick. An unreal time.

    • Jennie says:

      It was really wonderful! The cards were in ziplock bags, which the parents carefully opened and tossed before giving them to Amelia. It’s sad that it has to be this way, yet it troubles adults far more than children. Children are resilient. I wonder what they will remember about all of this when they grow up.

      • Darlene says:

        I have been thinking about that as well. David Suzuki was sent to an internment camp with his Japanese/Canadian family during WWII. I heard him say it was the best time of his life and created his interest in the environment which led him to a brilliant career.

      • Jennie says:

        That makes perfect sense to me. We can all learn from children!

  5. How lovely, Jennie. Our lockdown is much stricter and we are only allowed to go to local shops and doctors. It would be nice to have a bit of freedom.

    • Jennie says:

      You couldn’t drive a car by and wave? The distance was far away. It was wonderful. Our lockdown is much the same, but driving in a car is unrestricted in the state.

  6. quiall says:

    What a wonderful respite in these unsure times! This will be one for the journal.

  7. Cindy Cooper says:

    What a nice idea.!

  8. What a great way to celebrate, Jennie. We are having the same kinds of parties around here. 😁

  9. Oh how wonderful! Love this! 🙂

  10. What a lovely way to make lemonade out of lemons!🤗

  11. Love this. Today, two of my Kindergarten families will be driving by my house and that of their classmates to celebrate their birthdays. This past week I sang to them from a video. It all feels so sweet and so heart breaking at the same time.

  12. Dan Antion says:

    What a nice gesture and a fun activity.

  13. magarisa says:

    What a fun, creative way to celebrate!

  14. Wow, Jennie, I got all choked up reading this post. Bless you!!

  15. I saw on Facebook a little girl in our neighborhood had a sign that she was 7 today and honk to say happy birthday. Since my car hasn’t been out of the driveway in weeks, I posted a birthday wish on FB for her. Found out on my walk she is a friends grand daughter staying with grandma because mom is a nurse at the big hospital here. I love how everyone is making lemonade these days. I’m turning mine into limoncello and really celebrate. I love how the families of your students rally round for each other. I hope you do read “Hunting Bears” on your UT channel. Things seem to be holding their own here. Stay well, Jennie.

    • Jennie says:

      What a wonderful story! And it came full circle to you. Think of all the health care workers who can’t be with their kids. A dear friend’s husband is a nurse in Boston. She is pregnant and they have a three year old. He is taking family leave so he can be there when the baby is born, but he must first distance himself from his wife and young daughter for 14 days. No touching! My heart goes out to the health care workers. Thank goodness so many people are making lemonade these days!! Like you, I’m turning mine into limoncello. 😀 The rally round is really wonderful to see. It shows the true heart of people. Thanks so much, Marlene.

  16. petespringerauthor says:

    It must be so hard for the kids to understand why they can’t be with their friends, having not experienced anything like this before. Amelia will never forget this birthday.

    • Jennie says:

      It is hard for them, yet I know how resilient children are. Amelia was happy as a clam. She will never forget this birthday! The saving grace was that all the children were in cars, so there wasn’t the temptation to be together.

  17. What a great idea, even a police escort!

  18. Norah says:

    What a wonderful celebration. Happy birthday, Amelia. This is a birthday she’ll never forget.

    • Jennie says:

      You are so right, Norah! 😀

      • Norah says:

        There have been birthday celebrations like that here too, which I think is a wonderful innovation. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll be allowed any more as restrictions on driving are now being introduced. Life is not going to be fun for some for a while but, I guess if we have life, we can be thankful. Stay well!

      • Jennie says:

        Robbie tells me that there are driving restrictions in South Africa as well. I don’t understand how driving can spread the virus, unless they’re trying to stop people from going to a place where they can potentially spread the virus.

      • Norah says:

        We’re told to stay home. We are only allowed out for essential services like grocery shopping and medical appointments and supplies. They don’t want people going out to busy places or spreading the virus (potentially) to communities that are as yet unaffected. Susan, who also lives in South Africa, told me that the police there may check the shopping to see if it’s essential. We don’t have that here – yet. So far the restrictions seem to be working in both South Africa and here, so I’m happy with that.

      • Jennie says:

        It all sounds reasonable. I will be glad when it is over!

      • Norah says:

        Another thing is, they don’t want people to have car accidents or other emergencies that may distract essential services.

      • Jennie says:

        Ah, that makes sense!

      • Norah says:

        All very sensible, but restricting. I think we’re all looking forward to it being over.

      • Norah says:

        I’ve just heard today that schools in Queensland will be closed for another five weeks at least, which makes it six weeks since this week is a holiday anyway. It’s a long time for children, parents and teachers.

      • Jennie says:

        Six weeks is a lifetime for children. And it is so very long for teachers and parents. Today starts week five for us, and we’re not scheduled to return till May 4th (if at all). Many schools are closing tor the entire year.

      • Norah says:

        Difficult times all round. Hopefully, when we look back it will be but a blink, and something to talk about for years to come – remember when. And the children’s grandchildren will ask, “What was it like during the pandemic.” And they’ll remember that they couldn’t go to school but that their lovely teacher Jennie taught them over the internet. Then they’ll have to explain what the internet was. 🤣

      • Jennie says:

        I love this! I can picture that scenario decades from now. Thanks, Norah! 😀

  19. frenchc1955 says:

    Jennie, this is wonderful!!!

  20. L. Marie says:

    Love that so much, Jennie! What a creative and special way to celebrate someone!

  21. Dear Jennie — this is the most beautiful, heartwarming thing! ❤ Thank you for sharing this wonderful parade. Belated wishes for a happy birthday to Amelia. Hugs on the wing!

  22. Best wishes to Amelia! What a wonderful idea. Such a great event, and prepared to the max. I think children with you as an teacher will never forget these things. Not their whole life. Michael

  23. srbottch says:

    Amelia. Wonderful show of love by her friends. It made me a bit sad because I’ve crossed a wonderful girl named Amelia, a young lady now, for nearly 4 years and there’s a good chance that I won’t see her again, as things are going. She’s a graduating Senior. There are other Seniors, too, in the same boat.

    • Jennie says:

      It was wonderful for Amelia. Actually it was wonderful for everyone. I can’t imagine the sadness Seniors must be feeling right now. If you don’t reopen school, could you do something, like write each of them a memory? Perhaps the school could mail it out to the Seniors. Just thinking out loud. Best to you, Steve.

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