NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN/GMA) — Kira Neely, 6, is used to seeing her grandfather, 80-year-old Marvin Neely, every single day.
The pair live across the street from each other in Nashville and play together, take walks together and do activities together at Kira’s school, according to her mom Sherrie Neely.
So when the two families began to stay at home earlier this month as a precaution against the novel coronavirus pandemic, they had to get creative to be able to spend time together.
Last week, Kira had the idea to do a dance-off with her grandfather, with each of them standing across the street from each other, safely 6 feet apart.
“She was very much up for the challenge and had her game face on and my dad of course immediately embraced it,” Sherrie Neely told “Good Morning America.” “My dad would do anything she asked him to do. Dancing had not been one of those things but I was surprised at how good he was.”
Marvin Neely and his wife Gayle, Sherrie Neely’s parents and Kira’s grandparents, moved across the street from their daughter and granddaughter when Kira was born.
Marvin Neely used to walk Kira in her stroller every morning when she was a baby and now attends all of her activities, including father-daughter events at her school, according to Sherrie Neely.
“It’s been a really special relationship because otherwise it would just be the two of us,” she said. “Having mom and dad next door, it’s been such a wonderful thing for Kira because our family is larger.”
Kira’s kindergarten class began virtual learning in mid-March. Sherrie Neely said she and Kira began social distancing from her parents even before that because she worried about infecting her parents “at such a vulnerable age.”
Kira has shed some tears over not being able to hug her grandparents or bake a cake for her grandfather’s upcoming 81st birthday, but the family is making it work.
“We did FaceTime once but it’s easier to just go outside and talk to them,” said Sherrie Neely. “My dad sits outside in a chair and just watches her play and sometimes they kick a ball back and forth and she’s been able to draw pictures and hang them up for them to see.”
“Sometimes we just sit out there and talk with the distance between us,” she said.