KEKAHA — How do you celebrate a young birthday during the COVID-19 times of rules and regulations on staying at home and social distancing?
Little Brother Kylan Kamala was enjoying a nice Sunday morning in the swing at his Kekaha home when the deep “Baw-w-p” of a big rig startled the youngster, sending him scrambling around the yard before settling in the comfort of Aunty Rosie, who peeked out the front door.
“It’s Kylan’s birthday,” said Big Brother Eric Pomroy. “We’re just doing something small. The fire trucks will lead a group of us, who will stop in front of Kylan’s house to wish him a happy birthday.”
The pair of fire trucks from the Waimea fire station rumbled to a halt after calling attention to its appearance with flashing lights, sirens and the blaring horn interrupting the drone of a neighbor’s lawn mower.
“It’s a drive-by,” squealed a chorus of young keiki neighboring Kamala’s home.
The strains of the familiar birthday anthem blared from the fire trucks’ public-address sytem, sending the young 8-year-old deeper into the comfort and security of Aunty Rosie.
“It’s alright,” Aunty Rosie said, trying to encourage the youngster to greet his newfound friends. “This is your birthday.”
Nicole Cowan, the director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Kaua‘i program, rolled video of the proceedings that included the caravan of cars stopping in front of the Kekaha residence with offers of birthday presents being extended from open windows and fluttering streamers.
“Kylan is one of our newer Little Brothers,” Cowan said. “He is totally overwhelmed by this. I always wonder how our Bigs and Littles maintain their connection during this time of being separated. This is very creative.”
Pomroy kept encouraging Kamala out onto the driveway fronting his home.
“We just wanted to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you,” said Pomroy, who got help from a co-worker in arranging to have the fire trucks be part of the celebration. “We have some presents for you, and then we’ll be on our way, leaving you to party with your family. Happy birthday, Kylan.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.