DES MOINES, Iowa (CBS Local) — Social distancing may be keeping many families apart during the coronavirus pandemic, but distance was no match for a pair of Iowa grandparents determined to celebrate their 4-year-old grandson’s birthday.
On Sunday, a number of neighbors and close friends honked and waved as they drove by the east Des Moines home of Murphy Stammer to make sure his special day was one to remember.
“It’s awesome just to see how many people would come out just to drive by for just a couple seconds to wave and say happy birthday,” Murphy’s mom, Mary Ann Stammer, told WHO.
The well wishers included Murphy’s grandparents, who drove nearly 140 miles from Thayer and back to join the birthday parade.
“Oh awesome, absolutely awesome,” Murphy’s grandfather, Steve Murphy, said. “For grandkids, you have to do what you have to do. I wouldn’t have missed it.”
In accordance with social distancing rules, presents, cards and posters were dropped off near the sidewalk.
“We kept our distance and at least had a grandkid day,” Steve Murphy said.
“It was worthwhile coming up. It was great just seeing that smile on that little boy’s face. I don’t know who enjoyed it more, him or us,” he added.
Murphy’s mom said the surprise celebration provided a welcome change from the isolation.
“I’m not able to work right now because I’m a hair stylist, so to have sort of human interaction is kind of amazing and not just stuck inside,” Mary Ann Stammer said.