Best friends finally share their first hug after a year of virtual learning

By Jack Owens May 1, 2021
Distance learning has taken a toll on students of all ages, but for first graders Julia and Luna, a beautiful friendship blossomed in a Zoom classroom. Finally, this April, the two best friends were able to meet in person for the first time after a year of chatting through a screen.

Julia McClain met Luna at the beginning of their first-grade school year, and they instantly hit it off, despite being unable to see each other in person. “I kind of liked her, the way she is,” Julia told People Magazine.

When Julia’s birthday was fast approaching this spring, she understood that a typical birthday party for a 7-year-old may not have been feasible during the pandemic, but her mother knew just how to surprise her: a playdate with Luna at the park.

@lovethejamjamThe moment I met my best friend for the 1st time???? #feelgoodstory #heartfeltmoments #mybestfriendforlife #feelgoodvibesonly #newsstoryoftheday #ontv♬ Send Me on My Way – Vibe Street

“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.”

What Julia thought was a normal walk to the park quickly turned into a huge surprise, and the heartwarming moment was captured on video and shared on TikTok by Julia’s mother.

“I thought it was really exciting and like, oh my gosh! I get to see Luna for the first time!” Julia said.

The two girls played for hours, catching up on lost time, and Julia described it as “one of the best days of her life.”

“I was yelling, like, ‘I’m so emotional!’ It was really, really touching,” Mrs. McClain 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!'”

Moments like these serve as a reminder that little by little, normalcy is slowly returning, and hopefully the two girls will be able to see each other more in the future.