For many kids, their birthday is their most favorite day of the year. They look forward to it for months, dreaming about the party they will have and all of their friends that will celebrate with them. For Christian Larsen, a 9-year-old boy from Idaho, he expected his birthday to be nothing short of a perfect day. But Christian has autism, and though he loves meeting new people, it can be a challenge for him to make friends at school.
For years, he told his mother, Lindsay Barrus Larsen, that he wanted to invite his entire class to his birthday party. Hoping to spare her son’s feelings, she tried to keep his birthday parties to just family so he wouldn’t be disappointed if his friends didn’t show up. But this year, she gave in, according to Fox News.
She was hopeful, but hesitant when she passed out invitations to all 25 of Christian’s classmates in May. Unfortunately, only one little girl sent back an RSVP. Lindsay worried that Christian’s feelings would be crushed when she found out that only one person would be coming to his birthday party. Thus, she voiced her concerns in an emotional Facebook post.
When one of her Facebook friends saw the post, she had the idea to share it with the coach of the football team at the local high school, Nampa High. Coach Dan Holtry shared the post with his team. Immediately, the boys came up with a plan to save the day. Without hesitation, they decided they would be making a surprise visit to little Christian’s party.
Coach Holtry recalled the team’s willingness to give up their own time to give Christian a day he would never forget.
“The kids, before I could finish the text, it feels like they were like, ‘We’re in… Coach, we are in!’ They were like, ‘When do we do it? Let’s go!’ I was amazed how much they wanted to participate in this and take care of Christian,” Holtry said.
Need a shot of "feel good?" Idaho high school football team steps up for autistic student who wanted birthday party but only one invitee responded https://t.co/qsv47avwJk— Brad Hughes (@GYMObrad) July 24, 2019
In a video captured from the party, the team made a grand entrance, chanting Christian’s name. The little boy was so shocked and excited that he collapsed to the ground. He then went down the line of players, giving them each a high five. They played with him and even presented him with a football as a present.
“This is probably the best birthday ever, I have lots of best days in my life, and this might be one of them,” Christian said after the party.