LA Diary: The Pandemic Shipwrecked Their Pirate Party, So Mom Planned A Parade

Mason's favorite birthday present? Beyblades. (Mayelle Nguyen )

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Mason Nguyen's fifth birthday was going to be pirate-themed.

Doctors are treating his amblyopia — or lazy eye — with a patch, and the theme was a chance for all his friends to match his appearance for the day.

A generous neighbor lent his boat to bolster the day's nautical theme. (Mayelle Nguyen )

His mom, Mayelle, said the questions began on April 1.

"Is today my birthday?"
- No, not yet.

"It's my birthday?"
- No, not yet.

"My birthday party. Is it coming?"
- No, not yet.

She held out until the last minute before canceling the party. A friend suggested she plan a celebratory parade outside their West Covina home.

When Mayelle posted to a neighborhood Facebook group, someone offered to lend their boat as a prop for the day.

Hear an audio diary from the parade.

After the now-familiar technical difficulties of Zoom ("You're on mute"), Mason blew out the candles on his candy-filled treasure birthday cake in front of family and friends in Canada, Colorado and the Philippines.

"Where those people would not normally be able to participate, they were able to call in and be part of the whole thing," Mayelle said.

Mason's sisters agreed it was the best birthday party ever.

And now, Mayelle said: "They all want a parade for their parties."


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