There was no containing the tears of joy at what six-year-old Brooklynn Veinot is now calling the best birthday of her entire life.
Brooklynn, affectionately known as Brookie to many, awoke March 29 knowing there would be no big birthday party, no gathering with friends.
It’s simply not allowed right now.
This year, she’d have a party at home with her family. She’d play with her siblings and eat her favourite snacks.
What she didn’t know, however, was that her mother had something special lined up.
Erin Veinot put out a call on social media asking friends and family to drive by their house at noon on Brooklynn’s birthday to make some noise and put a smile on her daughter’s face.
The community didn’t disappoint.
All was quiet in their Nictaux neighbourhood at 11:55 p.m. Brooklynn played in her front yard, enjoying some family time in the warm sunshine. Her sister, knowing something exciting was on the way, rode her bike up and down the driveway.
The first horn sounded not long after 12 p.m.
Brooklynn was intrigued.
A long line of cars was suddenly heading in her direction.
“I think she was in shock,” Veinot recalled with a laugh.
Veinot knows the feeling.
She wiped away happy tears as her little girl stood in her driveway, dutifully waving to cars making a special trip past her house for the makeshift birthday parade.
Wee ones thrilled to be a part of the big surprise emphatically waved back, and several shouted “Happy Birthday!”
Adults shared warm wishes as vehicles slowly coasted past the birthday girl’s house.
The sight to behold was complete with balloons, costumes, handmade signs, surprise presents left at the end of the driveway and smiles – lots and lots of smiles.
Veinot watched it all in awe.
“Brooklynn thinks it’s pretty special. Her teacher showed up,” the grateful mother said.
She was incredibly moved to see so many people take the time to drive by as the world grapples with the harsh realities of COVID-19.
“It was nice to see all of our friends and their kids get out and bring a little love to everybody. I think it was as good for people in the parade as it was for us watching. We’re very appreciative of our friends,” Veinot said.
“It’s nice to see some positivity.”