A Michigan mom who overheard her 10-year-old saying he didn’t want a birthday party because he “didn’t have any friends to invite” took matters into her own hands and decided to try to get him some well-wishers. I’m usually rubbed the wrong way by these viral parenting stories – but I have to admit this one made me weepy.
Jennifer created a Facebook page for her son, with one simple request: Please help a mom wish her son a happy 11th birthday. It worked. As of today is has 1.3 million likes. 1.3 million! Something tells me this is going to put a huge smile on his face:
I am Colin’s mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin’s disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don’t like him. So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn’t a point because he has no friends. He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office. So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day.
The page is a huge outpouring of positivity. There are thousands of comments from well wishers all over it. His mom said teachers have always explained Colin doesn’t get along with the other kids, but adults always love him. She told Good Morning America, “His peers don’t understand him but every adult who meets him loves him so I thought I would go to a place where adults and my friends are, Facebook, and have them write nice messages to Colin so I could share them on his birthday.”
It’s obvious his mom knows him best – and if she’s convinced this will make him happy, she must be right. Kids can be cruel. I think adults respond to stories like this one because we remember how hard it is to be a kid, but also because we would hate for our own children to go through something similar.
I’m not sure how she’s managed to keep this a secret, but I will certainly be checking in on his birthday, March 9th, to see how he responds.