2020 Life Logs, Day 81: Happy 8th Birthday to Ollie
Date: Saturday, March 21, 2020
Weather: Sunny; High 52 degrees, Low 29 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA
It was on a Wednesday in 2012 when Oliver Preston Goldstone was welcomed into this world. Mark and I stayed at home with Sam and Jonah when Heather and Jed headed to the hospital. Then once we got the call that we could come visit, we headed to the hospital as fast as we could. When Sam and Jonah got their first glance of their new little brother, Ollie immediately reached out to his brothers with his tiny little hands. And he continues to this day to reach out to others and often says things that show wisdom beyond his years. Because of that Heather has always called him the Ollie-Lama. I can hardly believe he is already 8 years old. Happy Birthday, Ollie.
It took a lot of ingenuity to think of ways to celebrate his birthday in these days of social distancing, but Heather and Jed managed in one day to pull off two different virtual birthday parties as well as a walk in the woods with family. They chose the Quashnet River Area in East Falmouth for the walk as the loop road has plenty of room to stay 6 feet apart . . . easier said than done, but we were fairly successful and had a great walk. It took us a little longer than expected and Ollie was almost late for his virtual birthday party with friends. He had invited a few friends to all get online with him at 4:30 on Zoom. It was 4:30 when we got back to the cars, so Heather just got Ollie on her phone and the party started while they were driving home. I learned later that when one of his friends found out they were in the van driving home, he said they should drive by his house to say hello. Then the other friends said they wanted him to drive by their homes as well. It’s a whole new world when an eight-year-old has a great birthday party on a phone in a van while driving by the homes of friends who came outside to wave to him. Ingenuity at its best. Then later in the evening, Grammy Marti in Washington, DC and I got an email invitation to another birthday party via Zoom. If you are not familiar with Zoom you probably will be before we get through this coronavirus pandemic. It is a fabulous way to have an online meeting or a class or a visit with friends or even a birthday party. On your phone or on your computer screen, you see small individual frames showing live video of everyone who has been invited to join. The full screen picture then moves from person to person, depending on who is talking. We sang Happy Birthday, watched Ollie open his presents, and then went outside and watched him try out his new roller blades from mommy and daddy. It’s not the same as being together in person, but once you get into it, you almost forget that you aren’t really together. I think we are all going to learn many new things in the next few weeks, months, or whatever it takes to get this virus under control. But I am definitely going to embrace this wonderful technology and I might even take up the idea of driving by friends homes just to wave hello! I think Ollie felt like his birthday had been properly celebrated and I think it is a birthday he will remember throughout his life. Hopefully he will never have to have another one under these circumstances, but if he does, he’ll know just how to do it.