Birthday Plans for Charlie

As Charlie’s 3rd Birthday approached, the whole family and his friends were extremely excited.  We had a party with a bit of a difference planned.  We had an outdoor adventure scheduled for the 28th of March, (Charlie’s actual Birthday) on our farm.  A lovely lady was going to bring a bell tent, where the young children would be carrying out crafts.  The garden games, mud kitchens, a pinata would all be part of the fun.  Party food would include hot dogs heated by the children on a fire as well as toasted marshmallows.  We couldn’t wait!


The Realisation

However, watching the horror of Covid19 creep into the UK, it became clear that we would have to take certain measures for Charlie’s party to proceed.  As the week progressed, I had to cancel my Kalma classes, as they no longer fit the regulations of ‘necessary social gatherings’. Our daughter booked a flight home from Bath University as she had received an email stating that teachings will continue online.Our friends and family, in more vulnerable situations, were given firm instruction to stay indoors!  Consequently, we understood that it was best if we cancelled Charlie’s party for the 28th March.  A realisation that Charlie would be having a birthday in lockdown.


I awoke on Saturday 28th of March 2020 with the most uncertain feeling.  Our little boy, who at this point, had no awareness at all of any particular change, wasn’t going to have the Birthday we had planned.  I felt sombre that his family couldn’t come to our home for cake and to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to our boy, I felt miserable that his birthday was in lockdown.


The Positives Quickly Unfolded

Charlie awoke bursting with excitement!  He had asked for a new tractor and, unknown to him, was a huge John Deere tractor and trailer at the bottom of the stairs, just like his Daddy’s, “big green tractor”.  He was elated.

His big sister was home to give him his present in person and give him a huge birthday hug.
Nana and grandad sang happy birthday out of the window of the main farmhouse.


Gran had learned to FaceTime for his birthday wishes.


His best buddies sent videos and virtual cards and at 5pm we had a Zoom meeting where they sang Happy Birthday.

He received hand drawn cards made especially for him, some through the post and some via picture message.


We spent the whole day at home and on our farm, the place he loves most, with the people who love him the most.


I finished the day feeling incredibly overwhelmed at how much Charlie is loved and cared for.

A birthday in lockdown isn’t a birthday missed, it’s a birthday of memories, memories that will be held on to, memories of staying safe and having our loved ones in the centre of our hearts.


Laura Kalma Baby Bishop Auckland Crook and Ferryhill