When Christian Larsen was about to celebrate his ninth birthday, he had hoped to celebrate the day with his friends from the elementary school.
His mother Lindsay Larsen invited all his friends but became worried when just one of Christian’s mates responded to the invitation.
But thankfully, a high school football team turned up to surprise the autistic boy and make the day special for him.
When Lindsay invited her son’s classmates to his birthday, she hadn’t expected them to ignore or outrightly decline the invitation, she told CNN.
“He has worked so hard to learn names this year, and I could tell he was proud as he talked to them,” the mom wrote in a Facebook post on May 31, 2019.
She continued: “He asked a couple for high fives. One girl responded to him and said ok, and smiled.
“The rest were boys. Three didn’t respond to him at all. One just said, ‘No.’ At first I was just hoping that with the end of the year chaos, that the invitations were overlooked.
“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.”
When Lindsay’s post was read by her friend Blythe Ben-David, she knew what she had to do.
Blythe contacted Dan Holtry, a family friend and football coach at Nampa High School, asking him to help make Christian’s party a true celebration.
“The players jumped at the opportunity,” Dan told CNN.
“They were ready and willing to celebrate with Christian. Within seconds of a sent text they were 100 percent in. No hesitation whatsoever.”
When the day finally came, the high school football team from Idaho showed up to the young boy’s party in their jerseys, completely taking him off guard.
“The energy became electric and it was amazing to see how they all came together,” the mother told CNN.
“Christian often plays alone, or wanders off, but with the players there helping organize games, he became part of the action. He was playing alongside his peers, as well as the football players.
“I think it helped the other young children interact with Christian too.”
When the eight of the players arrived at Christian’s party, the little boy dropped to the floor out of surprise before giving high fives to all of them.
“We want to get him out here for a few games, get him out on the field pregame, just have fun with him,” Donovan Estrada, a team member, told KTVB.
“I know that Christian felt amazed and blessed by the turnout,” Lindsay said. “He talked about it for days.
“One of the best things about his personality, is that he is always looking for the positive. He didn’t question why the players were there, he just loved it.
“He has said multiple times that it was the best birthday ever!”