PORTLAND, Ore. – As people search for joy – and maybe a little normalcy – amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a viral video of an Oregon toddler dancing with her family’s mail carrier is delighting viewers and warming hearts worldwide.
And they’ve both got moves.
On Monday, KPTV shared the story of Ava Whitlow, 3, who eagerly awaits the arrival each morning of Ian Simon, the southeast Portland postal employee, who dances every day – without fail – with the girl from outside the family’s front window.
“She gets so excited, it’s amazing. Puts a big smile on my face,” Simon told the TV station.
Simon said the daily tradition actually began about two years ago when “one of us started to do a little jig, and we just keep on doing it now.”
David Whitlow, Ava’s father, told KPTV that the brief but heartfelt interaction “starts the day on the right foot” and that Simon has made a “huge difference” during a “dark time.”
After his wife and a neighbor shot a video of Ava and Simon dancing, Whitlow posted it to TikTok, and the duo have become a global sensation.
“I feel like people who’ve seen the video and watched 30 times and have cried every time, I feel like they feel like I feel … when I watch her dance and my wife watches,” he told KPTV.
Simon told the TV station that his dance parties with Ava are precious and only one aspect of what makes his profession rewarding.
“A lot of people depend on us through the weather, the pandemic, through the fires [and] all the smoke. [They] rely on us to get their Christmas presents online shopping,” Simon said, adding, “I love my job.”