Christian Larsen, an autistic child, sent out invitations to his classmates just days before his ninth birthday in June 2019.
Lindsay Barrus Larsen, Christian’s mother, waited for RSVPs but only received one from a girl in Christian’s class. They waited a few more days, but there were no yeses or noes from those who had been invited.
Lindsay assumed that many individuals just don’t respond to invites and assumed that was the case, but a school year picnic proved that there was more to the lack of RSVPs.
Christian requested the other kids to RSVP to his birthday party as he was saying farewell to his classmates at the end of the picnic. “All right,” one of the girls murmured, while the rest remained silent. “No,” one child remarked, while another replied, “Maybe.” Unfortunately, neither the parents nor Christian were aware of Christian’s existence.
Lindsay, who was heartbroken for her kid, shared her story on Facebook.
“At first I was just hoping that with the end of the year chaos, that the invitations were overlooked,” she wrote. “But, after seeing the personal interactions, I’m thinking maybe there is more. The hardest thing, is I do understand.”
“It can be uncomfortable to try to be a friend with someone who has had outbursts and cried in class,” she continued. “It’s hard when maybe you tried at the start of the year, and he kept wandering off in the middle of the game.”
Lindsay claimed she was arranging activities for Christian and the one friend who stated she was coming, but she didn’t make any demands concerning her son’s birthday in the post.
Blythe Ben-David, a friend of hers, noticed the message and decided Christian deserved more. She lives in South Texas, far away from the Larsens in Meridian, Idaho, so she won’t be able to attend the celebration, but there is one way she can contribute to Christian’s special day.
Blythe enlisted the assistance of a family friend, Dan Holtry, the football coach at Nampa High School in Idaho.
“He has always been a great guy, a genuine guy with a big heart,” Blythe described Dan in an email to CNN. “I knew if anyone could help it would be Dan.”
Christian’s science-themed party and the lack of response to his birthday invites prompted the coach to contact his players.
“The kids, before I could finish the text — it felt like — they were like, ‘Coach, We’re in,’” Dan told KTVB. “I was amazed at how much they wanted to participate in this and take care of Christian.”
Dan got in touch with Lindsay, and the latter agreed to have the team come over and visit.
On Christian’s birthday, June 4, a few classmates, neighborhood kids, and family friends attended. The birthday child was playing with the other kids in the garden when the surprise guests came, according to a video Lindsay posted on Facebook.
Dan and the football squad appeared on the terrace, all dressed up and yelling Christian’s name.
The youngster dropped to the ground, visibly frightened, and pretended to pass out when he spotted them.
The young athletes arrived with presents for the guest of honor.
“It was just an opportunity to take care of a guy that was going through adversity, and we’re blessed here at Nampa High School,” Dan said. “We have a lot of great kids. We know about adversity and we have our fair share, and we know how to fight through it.”
The coach and his team waited till the very last moment of the event. The young guys interacted with the children, sang Christian a birthday song, and watched him receive gifts. The kids even demanded autographs from the sportsmen.
“I have lots of best days in my life, and this might be one of them!” Christian told KTVB.
Kudos to this kindhearted coach and his football team for making this sweet boy’s ninth birthday one of the most memorable!
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