Your 16th birthday is the first birthday you look forward to more than any other. Namely because it's the year you get your driver's license, which brings that little taste of freedom that comes with the ability to hop in your car and go wherever you please (as long as your parents are OK with it, or course). It's kind of like like you're waiting in the lobby of the office of adulthood. You're old enough to be let in the building, but not quite ready for the job. Like an apprenticeship.

Your "Sweet 16" is a milestone that's meant to be celebrated with friends and family all coming together to spend time with you and each other. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has forced those plans to be put on hold for anyone who's birthday fell over the last six weeks. That includes Reitz High School student, Lanie Robers who turned 16 last week. But despite the circumstances, Lanie's friends and Reitz Softball teammates, as well as several family members made sure she knew they didn't forget her special day by surprising her with a drive-by parade in front of her house.

Her mom, Nicole Ploch, posted video of the moment on her Facebook page, and by the looks of it, Lanie was definitely surprised by the gesture.

Lanie wasn't the only one who appreciated the gesture. Nicole admitted to being "in tears!" as the parade made it's way in front of their house. She told me in a Facebook message that Lanie "was so exited to see everyone and it made her day so special...So many kids are experiencing the loss of graduations, sports seasons, birthday celebrations, and proms because of social distancing...it’s nice to make them feel special when possible and stay safe." I couldn't agree more.

The days of coming together to celebrate these types of milestones will return, but until they do, if you have a friend or relative that will be celebrating one of those milestones in the next few weeks, consider doing what Lanie's teammates did. It may not be as good as hanging out together, but it will put a smile on their face knowing that you care and miss them as much as they miss you.

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