ANDOVER — The Roses weren’t going to let social distancing get in the way of their daughter Hannah’s 18th birthday. Instead, the family embraced the concept and held a “socially distant” surprise birthday party for her from the sidewalk of High Street in Andover.
Holding a homemade sign saying “Happy Birthday Hannah” the Paul family, who live across the street from the Roses, came out to the sidewalk and sang for Hannah as she emerged with her parents from the porch and came down to their side of the street.
“We are just trying to make it special for her,” said Clancey Paul, who stood alongside her children Shannon and Calvin and husband John.
“To turn 18 and be a senior in high school in the midst of this, it’s pretty tough,” she added.
Another neighbor joining the party was Sue Robinson, who said she’s been in self-quarantine for weeks.
“I’d like it to be closer, but what the heck, this is the best we can do,” said Robinson. “I haven’t left my house in two weeks, my kids do my grocery shopping and drop it off at my porch. But it's nice to be out here in the nice weather.”
Hannah, although admittedly surprised, seemed to take everything in stride. The aspiring occupational therapist, who's planning on attending college in the fall, said she agrees that people are finding new and interesting ways to interact even as they maintain a social distance.
“It definitely pulls the community together,” she said.
As for turning 18, now that’s an entirely different matter.
“It’s weird, to be an adult, it’s different,” said Hannah.