Whatever Becca Macfarlane was wishing for on her 11th birthday, she certainly had not considered that it might be a parade of friends in cars, trucks and a tractor.
“No,” she laughs when asked if she expected to be serenaded (from a respectable social distance, of course) by her friends. “”It felt really good, just because it meant a lot that my friends came all that way, just to sing me happy birthday in my parking lot.”
Just weeks earlier, she’d had grand plans for a trip to Osoyoos with hockey teammates to enjoy a day of bowling and celebrating. It was going to be great because it would make up for some lost time as well.
“Originally all my hockey was cancelled,” said the forward, “so I was excited to get to see my team again on my birthday. So when that wasn’t going to be able to happen, I just felt a little let down and sad.” COVID-19, in its own indirect way, had seemingly shut down her chance to see her friends with whom she’d earned first place over the course of their league’s season, before losing in the playoff final. Their post-season tournament was cancelled amid COVID-19 worries.
But then it came on Friday, March 27, horns a-blaring, crawling up her driveway. Heads of friends poked out windows and stood out of sunroofs as they shouted “Happy Birthday” to Macfarlane, stood in the doorway saying shocked thank-yous in return.
“Happy B-Day Becca, [from] Austin, Lucas and Zoey,” was wiped into the dirt on one passing SUV. Trailing up behind, a green John Deere tractor too – needless to say it was a very “Boundary” birthday parade.
The song wasn’t the only gift Macfarlane got from friends either. Out of the same SUV with the message in the dirt came a shiny acoustic guitar, which Macfarlane said was to make up her personal entertainment for the day.
She’s been wanting to learn how to play it for a while, the birthday girl told this paper, “I just like the way it sounds.
“My dad really wants me to learn, ‘I’m a little teapot,’” she said, laughing through the last syllables. She’ll figure it out she said, “eventually.”
Though it wasn’t what she planned, or would have ever dreamed of, Macfarlane’s spirits were high as she prepared to dig in to an ice-cream (sorbet) cake.
“It just feels really good that my friends were there for me,” she said. Being kept away from friends through social distancing can be tough for kids, especially now that school’s not coming back any time soon either, but Macfarlane had some suggestions for keeping busy and having fun.
She said she’s “just being creative, and finding something I like to do and doing it.” Like music, oh, and she’s also writing a book. “Now I’ve really started to focus on it,” she said of her newly found free time that can be dedicated to writing about Earth Day.The idea, she says, came from seeing garbage lying around her school.
That said, she’s wishing over her candles this year to get out with friends again.
“I just want to keep playing hockey,” Macfarlane said of her planned birthday wish. “I’m hoping that I don’t have to stop.”