First-Graders Who Became Best Friends While Distance Learning Meet in Person: 'Best Day of My Life'
A Las Vegas elementary schooler got the ultimate birthday surprise when she was finally able to meet her best friend in person after a year spent getting to know one another behind a computer screen.
Julia McClain, 7, became fast friends with fellow Ober Elementary first-grader Luna six months ago when they first met while distance learning.
"I kind of liked her, the way she is," Julia told Meredith affiliate KVVU.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has kept them from traditional playdates and sleepovers, the girls grew close as they chatted and played virtually.
So when Julia recently celebrated her birthday, her mother Lisa McClain had the perfect gift in mind: letting her daughter finally meet Luna in person at the park.
"Luna knew, but Julia did not know," McClain told KVVU. "We were walking down the pathway here and she saw Luna and was so excited."
The sweet moment was captured on video, and shows an elated Julia sprinting toward her friend before wrapping her in a hug and jumping up and down with glee.
"I thought it was really exciting and like, oh my gosh! I get to see Luna for the first time!" Julia said.
In a TikTok video of the special moment, which airs on Tuesday's episode of PEOPLE (The TV Show!), Julia says in a voiceover that "it was the best day of my life."
Seeing her daughter light up was emotional for McClain, who told KVVU that she was brought to tears.
"I was yelling, like, 'I'm so emotional!' It was really, really touching," she said. "At school they don't let them hug, they don't even let them close to each other, so when they finally saw each other, she was a little apprehensive, and then she looked at me and she's like, 'I don't care, I'm hugging her!'"
The girls reportedly played together in the park for several hours before wrapping up their day.