How to celebrate an 18th birthday in isolation
HE WANTED a beer but he’s getting a beep – and it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke.
For Dylan Mann, turning 18 was his chance to go to the local pub and buy his first beer.
Unfortunately, with pubs closing their doors across the country, Dylan’s plans have gone out the window in a particularly cruel April Fool’s Day twist.
But, in the early hours of the morning, Dylan’s mother Renee Martin had an idea sure to make her son’s birthday a special one.
“I was thinking of what I could do to make the day the best I can, given the current circumstances with the lockdowns,” Renee said.
“He’s got friends who can’t come over and things like that to celebrate his 18th – and he can’t go to the pub.”
The idea came to her at 3am.
“The amount of community spirit that goes on this area, with people watching out for each other is huge,” she said.
So she took to social media to tell the neighbours to beep their horns to say happy birthday, if they passed the Brightview Tavern, which is across from the family’s home.
Already there has been a fanfare of well wishes from passing cars.
Dylan, who hopes to find a mechanical apprenticeship, had plans to go camping and fishing with his friends, many of whom had already turned 18.
But getting a beer at the Brightview Tavern – across from his home – was meant to be a right of passage.
“I had (intended) to go out to the pub tonight and then at the weekend, take a couple of mates and go waterskiing, fishing and camping,” Dylan said.
His family had visited the Brightview Tavern a number of times since moving to Regency Downs and Dylan looked forward to buying his first beer there.
He came to terms with the sad fact he would be unable to visit the pub on his birthday.
“I tried to keep up hope but, last week, I realised there was not going to be much chance of it,” he said.
By 10am, he had heard a few birthday beeps coming from passing traffic on Brightview Rd.
“I think they’re being empathetic to the situation about me not being able to do what I want for my 18th and they’re wishing me a happy birthday,” he said.
“I want to thank everyone for the birthday wishes.”
Originally published as How to celebrate an 18th birthday in isolation