SPOKANE, Wash. — Making friends during a pandemic is hard, imagine doing that when you are two-years-old. One Spokane mom hopes what she is doing will help other families in the same boat.
Parents have been cooped up, so have their kids. Now, with vaccinations reaching a good portion of people in Spokane, one mom hopes what she’s doing will help other families connect and make vaccinated friends. She has found a way to skip the sometimes awkward, ‘are you vaccinated?’ question and get right to the good stuff — play dates.
Mothers like Danielle Mize want what is best for their children. Along the way, it does not hurt to have a friend or two.
“He doesn’t talk very much like words or phrases so we’ve taught him sign language and I think it’s partially because he’s not very socialized,” Mize said.
Making friends was put on pause because of the pandemic, until vaccines started coming out.
“I was wondering is there a way for us to socialize so that he can start talking and hanging out with kids and it’s not so weird to hang out with kids and I can meet some people,” Mize said.
Mize turned to Facebook, curious to see if other vaccinated families wanted to have playdates with her and Phoenix. Her husband, Brian, also put up a post on Reddit wondering the same thing. With an overwhelming response, she created a Facebook group for vaccinated families only .
“So it’s kinda taking that so are you vaccinated so we can hang out off the table,” Mize said. “Some people are posting where they’re from in the neighborhoods and connecting with similar families.
For Mize, it is not just about making friends, it shows she is not alone. And neither is Phoenix.
“I just want him to get used to kids. That it’s not weird that there’s people his size,” she said. “And you know that he finds friends and learns to socialize and talk and just get along.”
The group is slowly growing, and Mize thinks it will take off for families across Spokane.
“I’m hoping that people and families and caregivers on this group can connect in their neighborhoods and create meet-ups and this will be a starting point for that,” she said. “I want him to have friends and I want to have friends.”
If you are interested in joining the group, you can search for the name “Spokane COVID Vaccinated Family Meetups” on Facebook.
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