When you are a kid, your birthday is one of the cornerstones of your year. Festivities, friends, and family, and birthday cake all come together to make it a special day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many children were unable to properly celebrate their birthdays this year.
Enter the New Hanover County (NHC) Public Library. On March 5th, 2022, the Library hosted an Overdue Party at the NHC Arboretum, to make up for lost time. It was a birthday party for all the children of New Hanover County to recreate the birthday experiences that were missed in the pandemic. Here, children and their families safely gathered outdoors, setting picnic blankets down in the grass under a bright, clear sky, for the fun soon to come. The festivities were full and spirited: dancing, singing “Happy Birthday,” and story-time featuring birthday-themed books from NHC Librarians Max and Flavia. And of course, it wouldn’t be a birthday party without cake and presents! The kids celebrated with delicious slices of birthday cake and books for presents—sharing the gift of reading.
The morning of the Overdue Party, the Arboretum was full of smiling faces, singing voices, and cake frosting. Fun was had by children of all ages. Helen, aged 6, reported “I loved everything. Singing Happy Birthday and dancing was fun.” Ada, aged 3, said “I loved the cake and book. I loved everything.” And though the pandemic is not over yet, things are hopeful. It’s in moments like these when we see that our community can still come together to celebrate and enjoy the simple joys of life.