Parents bend over backward to usher in big milestones for their kids. From their first birthday bash to a high school graduation open house, these events range from memorable to meaningful.
When two-year-old fish-loving Clark Spagnuolo’s birthday fell during the coronavirus pandemic, mom Becky had to punt. The Michigan woman had already planned a special birthday trip to Shedd Aquarium that she knew Clark would simply love.
But now, that wasn’t possible. Their trip from Wixom, Mich., to Chicago, Ill, to visit the highly acclaimed aquarium had to be canceled due to the coronavirus and Clark didn’t understand.
Some of Clark’s first words were “fish” and “Dory” from the movie “Finding Nemo.” He’s an oceanographer in the making!
He would’ve adored a trip to the aquarium, which opened to guests May 30, 1930. Founder John G. Shedd wanted his hometown of Chicago to have the biggest and best aquarium in the world.
Even his big brother, four-year-old Mikey, was upset about the birthday trip becoming a flop and he wasn’t as big of a sea-faring fellow as his brother.
So how could the family regale Clark with a birthday party to remember and still make it as exciting as a road trip to the aquarium?
Mom began brainstorming and came up with the craziest idea. Could she pull it off?
Well, not only did she completely follow through with her idea, but Clark was captivated by what his mommy did for him.
“We really needed something to make everyone smile.”
Becky and her husband Nick recreated the Shedd Aquarium inside their home. For two weeks straight, they whipped up craft projects, researched the aquarium’s displays and read up on ocean-themed books to try and get their decor as accurate as possible.
Thanks to online shopping and upcycled materials found within their home, Becky and Nick were able to pull together this grandiose idea. Even Mikey woke up at 4 a.m. on the day of Clark’s birthday to help transform their home into a sea of blue.
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