Having a ninth birthday during the coronavirus pandemic can be a bummer. But thanks to some friendly neighbors, my son's special day was one he won't soon forget.

I posted last week about how my wife and I were scrambling to come up with something special for my son after his birthday party was canceled due to the COVID-19 breakout.

While we did our best to make sure that we would celebrate with presents, decorations and food, there was little that we could do to make up for him being away from friends on his big day. After opening gifts and chowing down on his favorite burrito from Mexicali Blue, my son got the biggest birthday surprise of all.

We received a text message to head out to our front yard where we found a gathering of neighbors who had assembled to sing "Happy Birthday." From a safe distance on the street, the neighbors belted out one of the best renditions of the birthday song that I've ever heard. And by the totally embarrassed look on my son's face, it was just the right cure for chasing away those birthday blues.

Later, more neighborhood kids dropped by, decorating their bikes with birthday wishes for my son. As parents, we were worried about how this strange birthday would go, but the smile on his face as my son fell asleep last night made us realize we had nothing to fear, as long as we were surrounded by friends and loved ones.

While discussing this outpouring of support on the air this morning, other Hudson Valley parents have called and written in about similar gestures from their neighbors. Whether it's a flood of birthday cards in their mailbox or banners posted all over the neighborhood, it seems that people are going out of their way to make sure others feel loved.

While this is a tough time for many, it's comforting to know that many Hudson Valley neighbors are doing what they can to remain emotionally close while being forced to remain socially distant. It's important to keep in mind that even the smallest gesture can have a huge impact on those around you.

Listen to the Wakin' Up With CJ and Jess Show weekday mornings from 6AM to 10AM on The Wolf. Stream us live through the website, Alexa-enabled device, Google Home or The Wolf mobile app.

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