WORTHINGTON ― Social distancing measures have cancelled party plans for the foreseeable future, so a Worthington couple had to get creative to celebrate their son’s second birthday.

Cecilia and Ashraf Amadou originally thought a pool party at the YMCA would be a fun way to mark the birthday of their son, Emeric. When business closure and an executive stay-at-home order made that impossible, the Amadous turned to a tool many are using to video conference and stay in touch: Zoom.

They decided to call the Tuesday event "Zooming into 2," and invited their family and friends to virtually join them from all over the world in wishing Emeric a happy birthday. Before the Zoom party kicked off, several Worthington neighbors drove by the Amadous’ residence and honked their horns to let Emeric know they were thinking of him. A few also dropped off presents at the door.

“Emeric was so happy,” Cecilia said. “We didn’t really know how he was going to react, but he was so happy with how things turned out. He danced as people pulled up in their cars.”

The Zoom call was also a hit for the toddler.

“He enjoyed the attention very much,” Amadou said. “He interacted with his guests and showed some of his gifts off.”

Although the party wasn’t what they would have planned in a perfect world, Amadou added that “we also needed to find ways to elevate the good.”

The Amadous appreciated the support Emeric received from friends of all ages in the Worthington community.

“Someday he will tell his kids about the great community he grew up in,” Amadou said. “We are thankful for amazing friends here.”

Hopefully next year Emeric will be able to hug his well-wishers, but in the meantime, the Amadous will keep using technology to help him stay connected.