Quarantine is going on at its own pace and life reaching its own milestones. Our oldest turned 20 in early March as the Covid-19 hit the US and our second one turned 18 right in the middle of the pandemic. Usually we are not keen on elaborated birthdays or making a big deal, nor are our kids much into large gatherings but this turning 18 with lock-down in effect was making some room to stir up some celebration and give importance to the occasion. We decided to celebrate the birthday making sure we observed the social distancing. We were apprehensive if his friends’ parents were going to allow the kids to come over but everyone that I called jumped to the idea when I explained how we were going to arrange the party. So other than the obvious- no hugging, shaking hands or fist-bumping, we laid down the following rules:
- Only 17 and older were invited – our youngest was to stay indoors.
- Birthday was to be held in the backyard – no entry from the front door.
- Dad geared up in PPE, will serve the food.
- The chairs would be placed 6 feet apart.
- No blowing candles on cake.
Being Ramadan, food was to be served in three different courses. Iftar (breaking fast at sunset), dinner and then dessert (cake cutting). For iftar our youngest, the chef of the home made his famous milkshake. We served that to the young adults with cookies and dates, plates set apart but also served in line.
For food we contacted Hanif Mo’ Islam from In-Fretta – all we had to do was tell them that there would be bunch of teenagers for 18th birthday and they created the menu for us. The food was awesome, abundant and at a very reasonable price, plus ready in time! We highly recommend this place for your family dinner needs or big parties!
For cake we asked Sally Bakes Me Pretty. The new “adult” wanted the cover of an album (which both me and Owais were unaware of!!!) to be on the cake. Saleha as always did an amazing job in recreating the image on the birthday cake, with an awesome 3-D effect! The kids were thrilled to see the singer’s album cover on the cake and our son of course felt elated! If you have been following my blog for some time, you probably know the I have worked with Saleha few times for styled shoots. She helped me with Eid table and a Galentine’s shoot. Both professional and personal dealings with her have always been smooth and prices of her items are just amazing!! We were thrilled with the look and taste of the order!
While I had wanted to create a “quarantine birthday” theme, our birthday boy had other plans for the cake. I did get him the quarantine shirt though. I ordered it online and it came literally in three days! Loved the service provided by The Tomato Vine Design and highly recommend for your personalized t-shirt needs!
The next celebration in line was high school graduation! I loved this mask in the picture above from Simply Klassic Events, LLC. They designed and sent it to me in one day!! They have great themed-party products! Do contact them for your party needs!
For high school graduation ceremony, the District opted for a social-distancing-compliant ceremony, did a great job. Things were not the same for the home-stuck graduates of months but the world is full of creative people, who make best of the times, instill memories in moments that become a happy look-back for many when business is not usual. Owais rides with a local biker group called Dallas Mast Malang Riders. I knew the bikers did quite adventurous rides and organized events, covering miles for fun and causes, but till today I was not aware of the compassion and thrill this group brought.
So the Mast Malang Riders planned a celebratory ride for grads around town. Some 20 bikers assembled and stopped by each graduate’s house, tailed by a car with driver holding a congratulation placard, to cheer them on the successful completion of school during quarantine. They arrived at our home and made a grand entrance in the lane, which for sure spoke of grace and style!! Riding slowly, honking, with song of the grad’s choice playing, they stirred up a fun excitement not only in our boys and their friends but also in residents of homes around us (as another mom of the grad put, “they raised our rank in our neighborhood)! They stopped for few minutes for pictures and cup of water or two. Here are few snaps I could manage!
The perspective of the group and its agenda definitely changed for me today. The hobby that I always thought was a “guy thing” (which is fully justified in its own right as is) became more than just that; riding for more than four hours on a summer Saturday, stopping at each grad’s home, in bulky riding armors, under the sun radiating a temperature touching 100 Fahrenheit, it is beyond just personal enjoyment. They did it for families and kids they probably never saw before; a full-on community service! Heartfelt thanks to Dallas Mast Malang Riders for marking our milestone and making so many of us happy!! May you all be safe and be blessed with countless happy moments with your families! AND Happy Father’s Day to y’all! If you are being asked for what you want for Father’s Day, here is a great guide we put together!!