Friday, October 28, 2016

You're never going to believe what happened!

Wow! What a whirlwind of a week! I'm honestly a little bit overwhelmed as one minute i'm sitting on my couch watching kid shows in my pajamas, while holding a fussy, teething baby and eating stale animal crackers, and the next minute, i'm on the phone doing numerous interviews for various news stations and online publications. Okay, while still in my pajamas, eating stale animal crackers and holding a fussy, teething baby. Some things haven't changed at all.

Today something incredible happened to M and I can't wait to share the news because it's seriously amazing (keep reading because I promise i'll get to it soon and you do NOT want to miss this one), but I wanted to say a couple of things first.

First off, our family wanted to send a huge, enormous thank you to each and every one of you for all the kind words, support, birthday wishes, cards, gifts, etc. They mean so much to him and he appreciates it all so much! M would like to make a video to thank everyone, as he doesn't want to accidentally leave anyone out.  I will be posting it on my Facebook page soon so please like my page if you haven't already: Life On Peanut Layne

Showing off a few of the super awesome gifts he received
I'm especially touched that people are sharing their personal stories with us about similar birthday party experiences. M feels very comforted by your stories, and now says, "Mom, i'm not the only one this has happened to. It's actually happening right now as we speak".  Well he is hoping to change all of that and today he told me he had a job interview next week. When I asked him what the job interview was for he grinned and said, "It's called The Goodness Company".  He went on to say that he wants to make sure that each and every child has a very happy birthday and that no one feels sad and lonely on their birthday.  Really, that was my sole purpose for writing the post, but he says it so much better than I ever could.

Second, many have criticized me for being a crappy party planner (well, duh, just go back and read a little bit of my blog because as you will soon discover, I suck at many things). Some have said I made excuses and didn't take any responsibility, which trust me, I totally do. No one is a bigger critic of me than me. I understand and acknowledge our mistakes in planning this party, and no i'm not mad at the other parents at all, nor do I blame them in any of this. It's not about placing blame, it's about making changes so this doesn't happen to another child ever again.  As I pour over the countless heart wrenching stories (while crying my eyes out), some major things stand out to me.  It doesn't seem to matter where the party was held, as many kids had parties at swimming pools, bowling allies, fun centers, skating rinks, restaurants, etc, and still had not a single child show up.  Some kids handed out invitations a week or less before the party, some gave two, three, or four plus weeks notice, and still not a single child showed up (or only one or two). So this tells me that the issue isn't about the party planning (or lack thereof), the party location, or about how cool or uncool a party may be, it's about the need to bring back the RSVP.  It only takes a minute and can save a lifetime of heartache.

So, enough about that for now, and onto the really good stuff!  The big exciting news is M got a very special surprise phone call today from oh, just this author who writes a little book series called "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". You may have heard of him before, Jeff Kinney!! Of course you've heard of him because he's a super famous author, and his book series and movies are hugely popular, but he's also an extremely nice guy who has brightened up my son's world so much, that I don't know if he'll ever stop smiling.  Not only did Jeff take time out of his super busy day to talk to him, but he FaceTimed him as well and gave us a personal tour of his office/studio, which is decked out in DOAWK decor and is pretty much the coolest office i've ever seen.  M is now telling anyone who will listen that he has a new friend and he wants to be just like Kinney, and has been working feverishly on his own comic book series all afternoon.  To really top it all off, Jeff is also sending him an extra special gift that I will post about when the time is right, because it's unbelievably awesome.

Don't mind me...
i'm just FaceTiming Jeff Kinney over here.
Peanut was glued to his big brother's side the entire time. 
He's also a DOAWK fan. Who isn't? 
Pretty sure this is the quietest these two boys have ever been in their entire lives.
"Hey Jeff, would you mind calling them every day, preferably
between 3-5 pm when they're typically chasing each other 
throughout the house like wild dingos?"
I cannot even begin to thank Jeff Kinney enough for reaching out to our sweet boy, and to a couple of very special people who helped connect him to us, in order to make all of this happen. Thank you so much for making his dream come true! We are so humbled by the number of people who just wanted to make sure that our son had a happy birthday and to know that he is loved, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  This will truly be a birthday that none of us will ever forget.

204 comments:

  1. Awww that's amazing! So glad to see him smiling away ! Our daughter Allie was excited to mail her package today to him😃 But it might be a bit still , it has to clear customs. 🇨🇦

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    1. Hello mahlon, you are the best,
      Somebody up there Loves you .. Somebody down here cares for you .. Happy Birthday!!!
      I do not speak good English, I read your story in Spanish, I have a son who looks like you, he will send many hugs.
      Ismael Ahmidan
      Spain
      Ibiza island

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    2. That sounds super :)

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  2. It's nice to see that good things still happen to decent people. I don't know you at all and probably never will. The only thing you could have done differently was to reach out to the parents to see if the kids that said they were coming actually were. But honestly, I think your son ended up a lot better off than if even a single kid showed up. He learned a life lesson, and he also learned that if you are a good person, good things will happen to you even if it doesn't seem possible. I would bet you that 20 years from now, he still calls this his best birthday ever

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  3. I read your original post and was heartbroken. I am overjoyed that your sweet boy got such a special surprise from JK. Sending belated birthday wishes from me and two homeschooled girls, one of whom teminds me very much of your son. All the best all the way from Malaysia.

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  4. This birthday will definitely be one he won't forget!! So happy to see that the good has far outweighed the bad. What a gem of a child you have! And regardless of what anyone says, you're a fabulous mother, it's so evident in your son'a attitude!

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  5. This makes me so happy! Hurray for Jeff Kinney! Hurray for kindness. And Happy Birthday to Mahlon!

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  6. I'm so happy this story had a happy ending! That's awesome!

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  7. Found your blog just recently, and loved your post on peanuts Birthday Party....such a sweet boy you have!

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  8. I had to take a couple days after reading your original post, because I took the time to read all the comments too. I am amazed at the ignorance of some people being critical of the planning, timing, and other aspects. I know there were constructive criticisms in the comments, I'm not talking about those. The whole point of your article was about RSVP'ing, common courtesy, manners, etiquette, and respect. It was NOT about your son not getting gifts, or you trying to get him gifts, blah blah blah. You just had a personal example of the issue happen to you; (just like if my sister broke her leg skiing, I wouldn't tell people not to ski, but I'd use the example which affected me.) I applaud you for bringing this issue to light, and am sorry it had to happen to you and your son. My mother was a stickler for manners. RSVP's and thank you notes were expected in all cases. I'm also very glad that Jeff Kinney was able to connect with you and M., and the family. :)

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    1. reading your response, is like reading my own. it's amazing how people can skip over or make excuses for others.... i dont get it. What is lacking in this world is empathy, and love. That's is. :)

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  9. So appreciate the update and WOW!!! This is amazing news. So happy for you and your family- so deserved. Our hearts are bursting with joy for you and M

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  10. I am so happy that his birthday turned out so well...I am all praise for JK!

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  11. I'm in tears reading your story.. he reminds me of my son. His struggles to make friends but never gives up trying. We organised a birthday party but only one person replied and then the weather was a bit bad so I canceled blaming it on the weather.. I was too scared to see my son alone waiting at the park. Arnt people meant to tell u if they can't come too? Anyway my son would have come to your sons birthday. He seems like a lot but and it will only make him stronger.. so sweet that he took in party bags too!

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  12. Should not have read this at work, now I am crying at my desk like a crazy person.....

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  13. I'm so sorry about what your little boy had to go through - I have sometimes rang the parents just to get an answer - just so rude ! If you send me a postal address I will send him something cool from Australia !! our email is lisaandsimon@iprimus.com.au - just email me!! Lisa Australia

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  14. OMGosh, this story made me cry! It really struck a chord and I would love to give y'all a big hug, especially your beautiful birthday boy! Just know that all of us have had a similar experience, from wanting people to do the right thing and being disappointed when it doesn't happen - the most important thing is how you can pick yourself back up and find the better, brighter side to move on with - and you are doing just that! So glad good things are happening, keep on smiling young man, you have a great future ahead!

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  15. I would like to send a present and autographed cd to your little boy. If interested, please let me know. Jamieburkemusic@aol.com

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  16. I work at TunzaFun, which is a children's play centre and run birthday parties for kids of all ages, from 4 years old to 40 years old and this happens all the time. It often happens with older kids too, such as the 11-13 year olds, who are "too cool" to have their parents ring their friends parents, yet assume that because their friend says they can come that it means they have permission. Stories like yours quite often happens, and it breaks my heart every time. The worst party that I ever hosted had 12 guests invited, and 3 showed up, one of whom wasn't actually invited and had pulled the birthday boy's pants down in front of his whole class just the week before the party. It was his 7th or 8th birthday and I was mortified by this, as was the mother of the birthday boy.
    We try our best to ensure that every kid has the best birthday possible, and that's what I love about my job. There's a minimum of 8 kids when booking, and often parents only invite 8 to minimise cost, but then end up with only 4 or 5 showing up, which can be saddening for the birthday children. But half of our staff seem to live in the office, and whenever there's a small party usually we can find one or two extra staff who are just hanging around work to kill time, and then the three of us will join in the kids party and befriend the kids, and really try to ensure that they have the best day of the year. It's not always possible, but for the most part it is, and every kid who says "best party ever" before leaving makes my world.
    I remember before I started working there the manager at the time warned me that even though I might easily be running 6-8 parties on a weekend, that I need to take the job seriously, because for every kid their birthday is supposed to be the most exciting day of the year, and it's important to ensure that I treat every party like that, and that if I wasn't willing to do so then I should stay at my old job and not step foot back in TunzaFun again. I agree with this entirely, and I've been there 2.5-3 years now. I recently told this to my new manager and I've told this to all new employees we've since gotten, but I think that it's an important thing not only for the hosts of parties to understand, but for the parents of other kids. Even if they can't attend, to give the birthday kid a card or to call and apologise but still wish them a happy birthday is important- because this acknowledges that the day is important to the birthday kid's friends as well, and it helps improve the quality of the day.

    I'm rambling now, but I loved reading your blog, even though it broke my heart. I hope that your son has an amazing birthday next year (double digits, yay!) and I wish him a very happy birthday for his ninth. You have a beautiful boy with a handsome, yet somewhat cheeky smile. I hope that he settles into his school well

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  17. greetings from Egypt,
    It is sad. However, be happy that you at least have beautiful family and family friends to join :)
    Allah bless you

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  18. Hola chaval, feliz cumpleaños, la verdad es que la pasaste con la mejor persona del mundo con tu mamá y eso no tiene precio, es lo mejor del mundo.

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  19. Well done mom! You have taught your son that all he has to do is whine to the media (making sure he includes his 'disability' for extra pity) then he can get 5 minutes of attention and tons of swag from strangers who do not LIKE him, only PITY him.

    You couldn't be bothered to contact parents in the days leading up to the party but your lazy behind ran to open a PO box within hours of some stranger wanting to send you free crap.

    Let's give you the Special Snowflake Millenial Mother of the Year award for teaching your son how to work the system and be the best little GRIFTER he can be!

    What's planned for the next kids birthday? Standing on the corner with 'put presents here' box or just calling the media in advance so you can beg ahead of time. Lazy parents creating spoiled worthless brats. The kids at school will only hate your son more for blaming them for your shit parent skills. They may smile to your face but they will hate you until he graduate's and moves away. Think about that every day you send him off to school lol.

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  20. This is so cool! If my wife, daughters and I could send him a gift, heck even a picture of us sitting and waving so that he's never alone for another birthday party (seriously just pull the picture of us out and put it at the table), just let us know where to mail it! Growing up, both my wife and I were in that same boat. Before we met nobody would ever show up to the parties we held. Then we met each other and well, now we just have parties all the time for the two of us. All the kids I knew growing up who were popular, today just work some dead in job in a cubicle. Me, being the weird creative kid I was, am a successful wedding and commercial photographer that travels across the Midwest photographing cool people and places all the time. Just last week I photographed the Navy SEAL that took out Bin Laden and also photographed a NASA Astronaut - long story short, please tell your son to never change, be himself, and that things do get better. Wishing you and your family all the best from Sunny (and cold) North Dakota!

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  21. Don't live in the US (England)and of course I do not know you guys, but I (ex military man of 42 years of age) was deeply saddened and troubled by this story. I have a message for Mahlon that this is one of life's regrettable and unfair situations but it will all turn out fine. move on and keep looking forward. You have a great family and loads to offer in life! good luck kid, Rich!

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  22. Not sure if my msg got sent! I wish you all the best Mahlon in life and keep looking up and onward in life, you have a great family and from all accounts you are a great kid. I live in England and was moved by this story (42 years old male ,ex military family man) but I know that things will work out just fine, this was just an unfair blip in life pal.Onward and upward!!!

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  23. Hi! Your story has definitely touched my heart and I am so so overjoyed that your son has been receiving such posistive feedback. Is there a PO Box I could send a gift to? I'd really love to help celebrate his birthday :)

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  24. Hi Kristen,

    read about your story online and feel compelled to comment on something you said:

    "Second, many have criticized me for being a crappy party planner (well, duh, just go back and read a little bit of my blog because as you will soon discover, I suck at many things). Some have said I made excuses and didn't take any responsibility, which trust me, I totally do. No one is a bigger critic of me than me. "

    As the editor of the largest website for event planners, I can tell you your party was very well planned. Don't listen to anyone that says otherwise. Actually you did a much better job than most do. The theme, the custom cards, the cake. You took care of the smallest detail to make your son happy. This what professional event planners do and you did a marvellous job.

    It is not about blaming parents who did not turn up? Probably. This is not a paid event and they are not customers. They evidently respond to other stimuli. You are DEFINITELY not the one to blame. You went above and beyond and the response you are getting online is coming from people who would have loved to attend your son birthday party.

    Your son is very lucky to have someone that cares so much. Keep planning amazing birthday parties for him

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  25. Crying again reading your blog but this time with tears of joy! :) I feel so relieved for you, Mahlon and your family. What a blessing!!! He just seems like the most grateful child and I only hope I can raise my son to be as wonderful as yours is. Card is in the mail to Mahlon with a Lava Lanes gift card :). SO HAPPY FOR YALL!!!!

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  26. OMG I don't even HAVE kids and I'm sitting here in Austin all teared up. Your son has the energy in his face of being someone who can change the world and is a truly powerful and old soul. I love his idea of The Goodness Company because it matches him! Many blessings to all of you...

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  27. Life on peanut layne shouldn't slow down the love he has for his friend. In every situation there is a reason for. I am grateful @ long run God paved for people around the world to wish and send him gift as well, your boys was ONLY expecting school friends but God made it INTERNATIONAL friends.

    Glory be to God.

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  28. Very glad to read that your son got the happy birthday he deserved ☺

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  29. Just read your story from a local news in Belgium hln.be (in dutch). Just want to wish your son a very happy birthday. Big kiss and hug from Belgium. ��

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  30. Just read your story from hln.be in Belgium. happy birthday for your son. 😊

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  31. Bend is a little rough on newcomers, sorry you went through this.

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  32. You have an absolutely amazing son! Wish him and your family all the best in the future- glad this terrible story had a happy ending X

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  33. Just read your story on a Belgian news site, it's heart breaking! Say hi and a happy birthday to your son from the other site of the Atlantic Ocean! Greetings Astrid from Belgium, Europe.

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  34. Awn that's such a lovely thing to do! I'm so glad your son is feeling much better now xx

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  35. I've read your story on a Belgian news site. It's heartbreaking! Say hi and a happy birthday to your son from the other site of the Atlantic Ocean! Greetings Anna from Belgium, Europe

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  36. Happy birthday from Belgium cute boy!!

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  37. I wish ur son a happy birthday! Lots of greets From belgium To him! ! Tell him my wishes en where ï am From... the other side of the world!

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  38. Hi Mahlon! I'm Sarah, I'm 25 y.o., psychologist, brazilian, trainee at Embraer (aircraft company in Brazil).

    You remembered me of my own 9th birthday. I had just moved from my hometown, and I invited all my classmates and all my friends from swimming class. Just one friend came to my party, and my whole family showed as well. But I started to think that was something wrong with me, since no one from my school showed up.
    Then I realized (with my mom's help) that nothing was wrong with me, that I would meet people in my life that didn't care for me, that wouldn't want to be friends with me.

    But I would also meet wonderful people, who would love me for who I am, and would really enjoy spending their free time with me. I have 5 friend I can count on. Some live around 2 hours drive from me, others 6 hour drive, and my best friend moved to Australia 7 years ago, but she still hold the title (bff I mean).

    All of this is just to say that you don't need a house full of people, but you need those few and good friends who will be by your side no matter what. It took me 15 years to find my best friend, maybe you'll get lucky and find yours sooner than I did. But look carefully, they are special and rare. Maybe that's why you haven't found them yet.

    Well, just to finish, all I am today, all I have today, was because I had few special people in my life that were always pushing me forward, incentivating me to go after my dreams, no matter how difficult, or far away they appear to be. They knew what I desired and gave me their support. Real friends make you feel great about yourself. They don't make you doubt yourself.

    Sarah

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  39. Just wanted to say hi . I'm a Shriner here in Illinois and always think of the kids first. That is what we are about. Tell him Happy Birthday for me, please.
    Keep smiling!

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  40. When I was 8 years old, my family and I lived in Mendoza, Argentina. We lived there for two years. I celebrate my birthday in my house. NOBODY appears. My father in law wants to called every parent of my class, and kicked their ass, because they teach their children to hate and discriminated people borned in Buenos Aires... And I am one of them. So, your son is not alone since ever. I hate Mendoza's people!!

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  41. I've bawled my eyes out reading this story, and I am so glad it has somewhat of a happy ending. A similar thing happened at my brother's tenth birthday; for the longest time he never thought he would get past it but he is now thriving in college and having the time of his life. Life has its twists and turns, but the spectacular peaks of the mountains will always outshine the valleys. Wish your son a very happy birthday, and tell him that he is very very loved, no matter how many people come to his parties!

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  42. Okay so I saw this heart breaking post on daily mail I'm only 18 years old and my entire heart hurt for your son. You a beautiful soul, and an even better mother. You're a true mom, not a super mom who thinks she can do everything but a real genuine mom who knows sometimes they mess up. Please know that I hope you and your family have a great life and I hope your son has many more very eventful birthdays! I'll be his friend!

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  43. Wow. God is just. The aftermath of that heartbreaking episode simply is so much better and exciting for your son. Please wish him Happy Belated birthday from another Mom here in Malaysia.

    RSVP yes. Tq for highlighting the importance of sending that.

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  44. Sweetest ending to the story ❤️

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  45. Hi Mrs.Layne I just heard about the story of your son on snapchat of all places and wanted to let you know that I am completely heartbroken by it. I don't know who you are or the exact circumstances that happened but I'm just a 17 year old football player and recently lost 2 of my little sisters and it breaks my heart to hear this. I know that if I knew your little boy I would have taken my little brother and myself (as creepy as it may sound) and attended no matter the circumstances. I want him to realize that there are good people in the world and people looking after him. If this happened to my little bro I would not know what to do with myself. I hope this may make him feel better even how awful of a writer I am. I read to underprivileged kids during my lunch time to try and brighten their day and I'm sure if I knew about this I would have gone and played with him and made his day. Prayers go out to you and your family.

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  46. So happy for your kid, so glad this ended in a better way. My regards to him too. Hope no one ever has to suffer from this things again.
    Love, from Argentina.

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  47. Happy birthday from Belgium. The land (over the big ocean) of chocolate, waffles and fries.

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  48. I do wonder about Gramma and Grampa not RSVp-ing :-) ...
    so glad that the day turned out well.

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  49. I'm so happy to see that the situation turned out in a happy way! This story broke my heart. When my mom was expecting my brother, now 14 years old, she made a party, it's traditional here in Brazil, and nobody showed up, except for some family. I was six years old at that time and I remember being really sad. I imagine how it was for your son and I'm really happy to know that Jeff is such an amazing author that brought so much happy to your son's life! ♥
    Please receive lots of love from Brazil and give your babies an hug from me!

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  50. My grand daughter wanted to do sports theme for her 8th Birthday and was so excited took invitation to EVERY child in her class. They would be bowling! As of this date with the party next week they heard from one child..What is wrong with people? We don't know if people will show up that didn't RSVP..but we doubt it. I took Julianna to her friend's party last year and Julianna was the only one from their class that came. I am so happy for your son that it turned out so well for him. We used to all go to everyone's parties, if you got invited LOL Now that was the other side of this coin..I am 67 y/o and it used to be a whole class wasn't invited just some and then you had that issue of not being included. I guess childhood is just tough time and it shouldn't be

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  51. I can't tell you how many times I had to call people on my RSVP list for Showers, B'day parties and even 2 weddings. Even with stamped self addressed envelopes included, people do not return them. What a shame that people just do not use common courtesy anymore. I am glad that your sons birthday was redeemed by the kindness of JK. I hope he has many wonderful birthdays, filled with friends, laughter and love.

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  52. So glad that this turned out so well for him. NO kid deserves to be sad on their birthday, regardless of the reason. I'm glad that this was also a learning opportunity and that he wants other kids to have happy, positive experiences. That means that you have done something right, Mom.

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  53. Hi, I'm Ruben, from Asturias, Spain. I've just read about the birthday party and... HAPPY BITHDAY TO YOU MAHLON!!!! I supose to be late.
    Sorry for my English, I'm not so good but I hope you understand. Greetings from Gijon, in Spain.
    rfernandezf@hotmail.es

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  54. Ahhhh...I'm happy things worked out. Don't worry, I wasn't the popular kid in school either! Their loss! I'm sure he's a wonderful kiddo and this is just a small bit of sadness that happened and will pass. All things happen for a reason and goodness and generosity of others will shine through. It's hard making friends these days, I hope he has many wonderful birthday in the future! Wishing your family the best. :)

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  55. I just read your son's story and cried my eyes out. My son just turned 10 and, although we are not a big birthday party family, we planned a party this time (double digits after all!) for his entire class with invites going out via email @6 weeks in advance. Most of the parents did RSVP (some, of course, needed a few reminder emails) and we thought all but two children were attending so we were thrilled. Buuuutttt, one by one the "I'm sorry" emails and text messages came in (including three or four within one hour of the party) changing their RSVP from YES to NO. We understand that children get sick or other things come up (thankfully we knew not to pay for every child in advance) but the majority of kids who cancelled did so because "something better came along" in the PARENT'S schedule (i.e. tix to the football game) so not only was my son devastated (he cried the whole way to the party about people caring more about football and other Sunday fun then him) but those parents let their own children down, too. Fortunately, we still had a decent turnout and my son had a blast but we all learned an important lesson that day. It's not just better manners people desperately need these days but many also need to remember how their actions can really hurt other people, especially when the other person is just a child. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR SON!

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  56. Hi Mahlon! You might like the Whimpy Kids books, but you my friend, are NO Whimpy Kid! You have endured one of life's most hurtful experiences and survived. Keep being awesome and know that there are friends out there - 1 or 2 good ones are more precious than a bunch of kinda sorta friends. I have a few real friends and I have had them since I was your age. I am real old now. 55. Yeah... I know ... practically a dinosaur... Keep being YOU! Love, Mrs. Arsenault

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  57. I am so glad that this ended on a happy note for your son. I just don't know what is wrong with these parents. I have a 9 year old - and have also noticed how few other parents respond to these invitations, which can make it very hard to plan. This is a good reminder, though. We all get very busy and sometimes dread going to these kids birthday parties - I need to always remember this is very important to the birthday kid. Best of luck next year!

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  58. As a mom myself, I have found that sometimes bad things that happen to my son upset me more than they upset up. Kids are resilient. He will get over this. The question is, "Will you?" I think that is the main issue. If you make a big deal out of something, your child will see that and react accordingly. If you must get upset, get over it quickly and move on. This will serve as a more beneficial lesson for your child instead of making such a big deal out of it.

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  59. The same happened to my son. I live in Meridian Idaho but was raised and have lived most of my life in Atlanta, Georgia. I am shocked at the lack of manners and common courtesy. I am so happy things turned out well for your family. Thank you for bringing attention to this.

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  60. Glad to hear your son had some great things happen because of this. It is quite unfortunate that many things in life have come to such a disconnect with common decency.

    Though my son had several nice parties when he was young a similar occurrence happened to him with actually RSVP'ing
    His school in Fl decided if you were going to hand out invitations for a birthday party every classmate was required to get said invitation.
    My son comes home quite excited as the invite came from someone he considered a good friend. The RSVP had a phone number in order to get the details such as place and time.
    He was 7 years old at the time and always very good at saving up any money he earned or received. So he asks to go to the store and spent $25+ of his own money on a gift.
    What happens??? After calling many times for those details we never received a return call as evidently he wasn't actually invited it was just a fake invite to adhere to the schools rules!!!! Luckily another friend of his that lives near by liked the gift and my son was more than happy to give it to him.
    Your son sounds like a wonderful young man keep up the good work. Let him know many applaud his kind heart and actions.

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  61. I must admit I threw great birthday parties for my son. Every kid showed up each time. It would be the best day of his year. But, and it's a big but, he never, ever got invited to their parties. Even the one that was across the street and he stood on the front lawn under a tree and watched. He was only six years old and his entire class was across the street; except for him. That was the day my heart died.

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  62. Keep your head up, Mahlon! It's not easy being a kid, but having the love from great parents/family is worth everything. Seems like the world has your back!

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  63. That was a very touching story I'm in tears. Just seeing the little guy pics. I can imagine your heartbreak this once happened to my daughter. But at least one friend game. Planning a party is so stressful and as parents we just want to see our kids happy. Well some of us, theres some real selfish dirtbags out there. I can tell u are not one of them Not sure is his name M. When I started reading this I had yet to no so many had responded. I just wanted to tell M I would so love to have attended his party and my 2 girls as well. You have a huge point and from this point on I will be sure to answer rsvp. It takes only 1 minute of my time. I no I'm a softy, I don't cry to much over things ive read, and especially within seconds. My first thoughts were, we gotta throw this young man a surprise party. Unfortunately u are not anywhere close to where I live. BUUUUTTT I am right by Disneyland and knots berry farm. I don't have means to travel that far, but lets say your family takes a vacation to this here warm sunny California. It would really be an honor to do something nice for this young man. And the author Jeff I believe u said. Its completely admirable what he did. What a blessing and a wonderful man. Thank u for sharing. Although it was a heart wrenching experience at least something came from it. The crap about it being your fault that's just people who lack compassion or probably don't even have kids. They are always the first to judge. Becky, Jaden (6), Jenna (18). Big hugs from my girls and I

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  64. I'm so glad that your son received the love and support he deserves! I also want to commend you for bringing attention to the lack of courtesy and kindness that is so pervasive in today's society. Having personally experienced the stress of "will someone please show up for my kid" more than once, I have made it a point to attend every party they are invited to. I wish others would make the effort as well. It's a simple gesture and it goes a long way. Bravo to you and congrats to your amazing son!

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  65. I broke down when i read this story, because i go through this every year with my daughter jade. her b-day is on Halloween and we are new to the area and we don't know much people but the few she knows i tried reaching to the parents to make at least this b-day special cause she is 12 and no one reached out and ones again i have to put on the clown face and try to make everything for her to feel good. i would have done anything not to see her sad face and although she laughed and enjoyed her b-day with me and my husband i know that down deep inside she wanted that party, so i understand how you as a parent feel. i am happy that it turned out great for your boy, wish we live closer to had been part of it.

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  66. Glad that things did turn out OK in the end. I am shocked at the lack of respect shown to you and your son on his special day. I hope he can hold on to his incredible outlook on life forever.

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  67. Hey Buddy.....The SAME Thing happened to me Only It was my 25th Birthday Party.......The Only thing I can tell you is this......You Know how Awesome you are.... I Can Tell you are an Awesome Little Man.....And 1 day those other Kids will see that they made a HUGE Mistake. Never Forget you are AWESOME

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  68. This happened to me. My son was EXACTLY your sons age. The only thing worse? I was OUT OF TOWN and the babysitter/adult nanny was handling the situation. I was devastated to find out no one came.

    It still breaks my heart to think about it and this happened in 1985.

    Yeah. Long time ago in fact I didn't want to share your post because I was worried my now 40 year old son might see it and have to relive the pain like I did.

    Crazy right? But honest and true.

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  69. Happy birthday from Michigan!!!!

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  70. I am soooo soooo very happy that this all worked out. I have a daughter on the spectrum, a very extremely smart and precocious girl. I have blatantly watched kids ignore her, and have watched their parents watch their kids ignore my daughter. It is a terrible thing to have to endure. Some parents need a tune up and need to get with it and pay attention to what is going on! They need to understand that they need to teach their kids how to be treated and how to treat others. I am so happy that this turned into a wonderful time for all!

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  71. Me alegro por el niño, de una situación difícil se le ha dado la vuelta a algo bueno. Y no se preocupe por los amigos el sabrá encontrarlos, ahora solo seria suplicar amigos... En su próximo cumpleaños llévelo a algún lugar con su familia, eso nunca lo olvidará, con mi hijo lo hicimos así, un saludo.

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  72. Hello, firstly I would like to say that yes it is rude to not RSVP! but, you should never have let your child know that nobody showed up for his party. You are the parent, and you could have controlled this in the way that your child did not have to feel badly about other peoples short comings. Nor should you have let you son pose for such a pathetic picture alone at a table, and then share it all over facebook or whatever other social media net. And! why is it so bad to be sitting alone? because that is what your 8 year old son is wondering. Eight year old kids know what we teach them. If you teach them that it's so sad that no one showed up for your birthday party. Well, then, that is your fault if they are feeling badly about it! especially since you've decided to draw as much attention to it as you possibly could. Don't use your child as a pawn for the gain of attention on YOUR blog.

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  73. Firstly, Yes it is rude to not RSVP. but! I honestly think that you have done more harm to your child by making this such an issue. I would never have let my child know that nobody wanted to come to their party (which is exactly how your child may have interpreted your display of the situation) I think it's wrong that you used your child as a pawn to gain attention for the short comings of a few people. He is the one who will suffer the most from this. I hope you've enjoyed the attention this has gained you.

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  74. Same thing happened to my daughter when she turned 5. It's heartbreaking, especially for us parents. But she's 20 now and totally fine (and doesn't even really remember it), so the heartbreak doesn't last forever! :) Happy birthday, M!

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  75. Please tell M that he is SO brave and so very special. Sometimes things happen so we can be a advocate for change. He is learning some important life lessons, and good for him for not getting bitter, but getting better! YOU ARE LOVED BUDDY!

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  76. I am so happy for you guys! I had the same thing happen to my son who is turning 5, not one RSVP, but know that you are not alone and that there are people out there who care!

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  77. Lady, I am a teacher (elementary & secondary) as well as the mother of adult children. Many sperm donors and egg donors do not care about other people including their own kids. They care only about themselves. Even if they had RSVP does not mean the would have shown.

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  78. people need more empathy and love. amazing how people judge and criticize and it has nothing to do with the issue at hand. there is a common courtesy when you receive an invitation, and that is to "RSVP" or "REGRET" if requested. It's not for the kick of it, it actually affects the food count, treat bags, tickets, games and prizes (believe it or not). If only 3 or 4 could come, I'm sure you would have altered your party because of that. Dont apologize when people tell you what you should've done or could've done, that's not the point. Getting involved in the community? has nothing to do with this topic. In fact, if you pull out the handbook for "community etiquette" page one would be titled "responsibility" page two would be titled "love your neighbor". One of my favorite scriptures includes a well-known saying... "do unto others as you would have them do unto you".... and for a mother that is talented enough to home school their child? well, your priorities seem to be right where they need to be.

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  79. I'm also glad that things worked out, but I know that heartbroken feeling you get for your child--that pain, for me, is worse than any I've ever felt for myself! But I write to tell you what I did once--not sure what gave me the foresight to do this, but under WHERE? on the invitation, I wrote, "RSVP for location." I wanted to be sure I knew a head count, I guess. It worked out great, except for the little boy who called a day late to ask where the party was, but even then, it saved his family a trip! Best wishes to all your family.

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  80. So happy to read about how things have turned around. Tears when I read the first story.

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  81. One of our son's birthdays is on Memorial Day weekend....I've learned to schedule his party on a less busy weekend, pass out invitations and then call and keep calling until I've reached someone to get a firm yes or no! God bless your lovely family and especially your fine birthday boy!

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  82. same thing happened to my daughter when she was 8.....we planned a skating party and no one showed.....the lady at the rink felt so bad for her that she did not charge us and donated the cake for her to bring home. she is 45 now and I thnk she learned a great lesson about letting people know that you will not be able to come to the party and sending thank you notes for gifts. It was a rough day but eventually she was able to talk about it and process how she felt and how to treat others. give your baby hut and tell him he has a fan in Kentucky.....xoxo grandmajer

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  83. Of course we're all glad of the outpouring, but I would like to suggest that you, as parent, expected RSVP to necessarily prompt yes/no response. In fact the literal translation in French, and common use, is 'respond if you please', which means if you are coming, please respond. Current convention in the US, largely due to similar experiences as yours/your son's, is to add RSVP Regrets Only - so if there is NO response, the assumption is valid that invitee(s) is(are) coming. You may have still not received RSVP Regrets nor any other communication, but then those receivers would be firmly in the wrong. At this point, its questionable at best. And you admit no follow-up...soooo the blame for a failed party does not rest entirely on the invitees parents. I think your son would garner a real life lesson for you to own up to your own culpability.

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  84. Hold on Gentle Readers/Bloggers. The phrase in French translates to 'respond if you please'; it does not insist that there be a response if not coming. In fact the misunderstanding has led to common practice today (you obviously aren't keeping up with protocol) to write 'RSVP Regrets Only'. This squarely places the burden on the recipient of the invitation; therefore to ignore the invitation and to not show up truly is a major social gaffe. As it is, what happened is at best questionable re fault. Insofar as that goes, you admit not having done any follow-up; isn't there a role of responsibility on your side that was overlooked? I suggest your son would learn a great lesson in adult responsibility if you admitted some culpability (which is pretty evident) and did NOT teach him that its 'THEIR' fault; that blame can be placed elsewhere with no compunction. Next time you strike out blaming others, check you're on firm ground.

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  85. No one seems able to be bothered anymore. I remember my son's party during Kindergarten six years ago. Not ONE person RSVP'd, yet 15 or so arrived.

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  86. Saw your story and just wanted to wish Mahlon a Happy Birthday.

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  87. I was heartbroken by his previous report, on the anniversary of her son. Now I'm glad to see all the good that is happening. Your child and your family deserve the best. Greetings from Brazil

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  88. Next party I will come!
    I live in Maryland but am so touched by this story that I would fly out and give a hand, a present and pay for dinner or dessert.
    Although a sad moment in this young man' life he seems to be stronger for the episode.
    We, as a society, are losing our social graces, our decency towards others. It is unfathomable that not one person responded.
    Keep your chin up!You are a good young man who now knows to respond to invitations...
    kcicecream@msn.com

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  89. I am so happy reading the wonderful responses. I don't care about your planning at all. You did the best you could. I always RSVP to any function and thank you for bringing that back to polite society. Happy happy birthday to your awesome son! And to you..... Don't let the jerks get you down!!

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  90. Keep head up champ, I'm very happy you as a excellent mother took the bad and turned it into a good day.

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  91. So happy that things turned out great in the end. One thought, based on personal experience -- if you have a Cub Scout group in your area, you may want to look into it for Mahlon. My son was a Cub Scout, and he found a group of nice kids, who had monthly meetings, fun activities, etc.

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  92. That was very sad for your child indeed. However, to assume that kids will show up when nobody sent an RSVP, was a misunderstanding on your part. Your son is new at school, nobody really knows him all that well and to expect that any of his classmates would show up is assuming a lot on your part. Next time make sure there is a follow up RSVP before making plans or at least follow up with the parents of the kids yourself. Glad your son wound up having a nice birthday, despite the disappointment.

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  93. Hey glad it all worked out for your son and he had a happy birthday. It was tough for me when I was a kid and it's hard to imagine how tough it is for kids these days. Stay strong, stay positive, and great things will happen :)

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  94. Caring Dorothy
    WOW, What a great ending !!! but my heart was sad when I read the story as I imagine how disappointed your son was. Parents need to know the meaning of COMMUNICATION and good manners.

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  95. I live in Gresham, Oregon...Go Ducks! I was reading the news when I read about your boy's recent Birthday Party (or lack of) experience. This happened to my son, we planned, had a swimming party, rented the pool for four hours! Had a room setup with a cake, ice cream, balloons and everything. We did the RSVP thing, but also texted the Moms of his friends. When it came time for the party, not one of them showed up! Fortunately his family, grandmothers and Aunts and such were there. BUT, he felt so humiliated (as he had attended every invite he had gotten!) that this would be his last party inviting friends. From that moment on, his Birthday Parties were only a family event. There is a saying; "A friend in need, is a friend indeed!" He's much older now, but he has never forgotten that day. Times have changed in this country, things that were staples in life are no longer considered important, and its a shame! I wish your boy a very happy birthday!

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  96. so glad a sad story had a happy ending. as your little guy grows up, he'll understand more and more that the people who don't show up for the parties are not the ones that matter. it's the close family and friends that love you every day that really count ;)

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  97. Though the parents should have rsvp'd, you should have followed through to find out if they received the rsvps in the mail (maybe a few didn't; snail mail is not reliable), or just outright phoned them and gotten an answer. A birthday party should almost be treated like a business: you send out invitations, don't hear back? FOLLOW UP. You can't just sit back, cross your fingers and assume. Doesn't matter if kids showed up anyway to your daughter's party. Those were an entirely different set of people, not clones of the ones you invited for Mahlon. Something must have gone awry in the invitation process; what kid doesn't beg his mother to go to a birthday party? I'd reassess how you went about this process to figure out where the broken link is.

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  98. You know what? people are so unconsiderate these days, that is why I used to have friends, not anymore because everybody is very busy with their own lives and I noticed I would always call them to say hi but they would never call back, I think friendship is a two way street, and I teach this to my kids. Now I have acquaintances.
    My extended family is huge so I do not have a problem with birthday parties, but I know not every family is like mine, however, just tell your son, this things can happen but we move on, and learn from the experience, this world has become so selfish but I still have faith in humanity, see all the people that have reached out to you, and I know many people might not agree with what you did but sometimes we have to let our the anger and frustration of these little things.
    I have two kids and they are new in their school, I always tell them to make friends and do not expect anyone to be there for them because not everyone is considered an friend.

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  99. Happy birthday sweet boy, God bless!!

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  100. Hi, I never write comments to anything, but this one got me. First, I am so sorry for what happened. It really sucks. I remember when I was little, something must have happened like that (I probably only noticed some of it, because I had so many cousins that did come), that when I was a teenager I dreaded my birthday and would not have parties. It really sucks. I am a mother of two teenage girls and I think because of my experience growing up, I always called the people that didn't RSVP. I was paranoid. I don't think you should. People should be considerate to the children, you did nothing wrong. But the reason I am writing this is to CONGRATULATE you and your husband (and grandpa too) for the blessing of having such a kid. Seriously. He wanted to give the party favors? He went out bowling? And he welcomed and enjoyed the company of the adults that showed up? Seriously, that is a very, very strong young man who will grow up to so many big things. Still, what happened will stay with him. But from what I read in your post, he will remember forever and make the best out of that always. Not only for his own kids in the future, but to all kids that will be in his life. If this happened to me, I would probably be crying in my bedroom, close the door and not want to go to school. Your boy is SUCH a big heart, mature and kind. That's a gift for everyday, not only his birthday. Congratulations. Marcia H., from California.

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  101. Happy belated birthday to Mahlon. I am glad it turned out well.

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  102. was brought to tears reading about the party. Yes, it is so simple to RSVP, which would have avoided the trauma for your son. He must have a wonderful heart with his attitude and don't blame yourself for what happened.

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  103. Dear Master Mahlon Layne and Mother:

    I am sorry that your classmates are in the lower 50% of humanity, along with their parents. You appear to be a very bright young lad with a wonderful mother, so you should learn to expect such things---it is called envy.

    I was an unpopular child, with parents the opposite of yours---they weren't either supportive nor particularly caring. My school days culminated in the summer year after my senior year of high school, where the most influential honors teacher in my high school told all of my fellow honors classmates that I would never make it through medical school.

    Ahem.

    I am a 54 year old physician now, and psychiatrist, and on issues like these I used to counsel the adolescents that I would see that while public school seems to go on forever, in reality as an adult these people have very little influence on what you do if you choose that to be so.

    I keep up with fewer than 6 of my classmates from high school (class of 821), none closely. In my college class, I keep up with about 6 out of 1100 or so. In my medical school class, I keep up with about 2 of 221. In my residency in psychiatry at UCLA, I keep up with about 4 out of the 32 who attended with me.

    I've been married for over 20 years to my wife, and have two wonderful kids. I have a great practice and life.

    In short, ignore your classmates and live a great life!

    Scott A. Joseph, MD

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  104. I hate to bring this up but I have had to go to my children's schools myself to make sure that the invitations to their parties were given to the friends of my child. The teachers blocked the invitations from being handed out by my child time and time again! Their reasoning? EVERY child must be invited and this I found out included many of their own children who showed up at my children's parties even though my child did not know them!
    When these teachers themselves were children this did not happen to them for the most part! Our treatment of our children by our education system is a deliberate abuse of their self imposed "power" over the people of this country! They have forgotten years ago that they work for the parents the parents do not work for them! But at the same time not enough people care to speak out or want to hassle with an overbearing, oppressive system such as our so called "education" system. Some will attack this statement but it is where we are and hiding from it will never change it. Sadly it is written within the introduction of the book COMMON SENSE by Thomas Paine, and author our founding fathers read fervently; "If a wrong is not spoken out against at the time it is committed, that wrong becomes normal. Time creates more converts than REASON!" Sorry to hear that your child went through this, but through personal experience, it may not be the fault of those you did not hear from. As they may, as I have personally witnessed never been given the chance to respond. If they were, it does not change the overall attitude our education system has towards parents nor the children they are entrusted with :( I live in a "conservative" state so its only just begun here. But its apparent to those who are open to see the reality of the environment we have placed out children, that things are way out of hand nationwide.

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  105. So glad your family was there to share in your birthday celebration. Happy Birthday!

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  106. Just saw the article on Yahoo about your situation. I have had a party for a child that no one RSVP'd, and one person did show up. Thank goodness for that one person, but it could have easily been none. I know people get busy, can't afford presents, whatever. I've been there and done that, and I've also not RSVP'd. If I was a "no" I hated to call to tell them, not realizing that it could be worse for them not to know. I am so glad that M is being able to enjoy his birthday in other ways. That is awesome!!!! And as far as those who are making negative comments, please, the old adage is "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". It's amazing what hurtful things you can say sitting behind the computer keys. Ignore them. They aren't worth the time or attention. Since our experience, I pick one or two kids to reach out to, and they and our birthday child get to go somewhere fun. No presents, just time spent with friends having fun. That way you are in control and they make memories. Just a thought. It worked for us. Have a lovely day and keep up the good work! Hope you had a wonderful birthday after all M!

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  107. View this website / discussion board about your son's birthday party (Good luck to you and your family!):

    http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php/1101610-Mother-left-heartbroken-as-no-one-shows-up-to-son-s-birthday-party?highlight=Harry

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  108. That is awesome! I am a high school student who has been through it all. In middle school i didn't have a single friend, and it consumed my life. I felt sad and thought nobody liked me. I tried so hard to fit in and be popular but found myself being alone every weekend. However, once 8th grade hit, i was in a new school in a new city and i met new people by being myself. I had a girlfriend and a solid friend group by the time school started. Now a few years after 8th grade, I have a solid friend group who have my backs and although we may not be the most popular of the popular, I couldn't be happier. The point of this? Never change who you are to fit in! You will always be happy being yourself, and will be able to find real friends who have your back! Never change little man! I'm sure every kid will want to hang with you if you are just yourself!

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  109. He is happy, and that is what matters. You cannot listen to who criticizes you like your relief was your fault. That is exactly the opposite. You more than anyone got hurt this situation. Any parent would be devastated. The important thing is the education that you give your kids, love and principles that they learns. The negative reviews do not deserve your attention. Brazil was also moved a lot with the story of your son, we would also like to send presents, but rates are really very expensive. lol… Much love for you! ♡
    Ps: Sorry my Google english 😊

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  110. Hi! I read the news story on msn and stopped in the check out your update. So thankful for this turn around, but very sorry little M experienced the deep disappointment and heartache. I agree with your plea to bring back the RSVP. I have a niece who went through this as a child. It was difficult for all of us to recuperate from it! Hugs to you all and I am so glad for this story's happy ending!

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  111. I just discovered your blog with the story about your son. I have a young one at home and can relate. What has happened to common courtesy? I'm so glad you were able to turn things around for your son and his party.

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  112. It seems horrible now, but one day your wonderful son will look back on this and it will be a mere blip. Same thing happened to my son at age 11......and you know what? "What goes around, comes around". He is now 23 and a gorgeous, successful financial analyst in NYC. He definitely had the last laugh.........keep your head up!!

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  113. So happy for M and your family!!!

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  114. So happy for M and your family!!!

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  115. I'm SO happy for him!! His story brought me to tears. It really touched me. He looks like a wonderful, sweet boy. I wish him all the best in the world. I hope his next party will be a success and I would love to see pictures.

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  116. Your son is absolutely adorable, I am so happy to see something positive come to him after. I found out about your blog post on Yahoo and as many others brought me to tears. I have 2 younger brothers myself and can't help but see them in your son sitting at that table alone on his birthday. Your son will grow to become an ever more amazing person, he already seems so smart for his age. Good job to you for raising such great kiddos and for raising awareness to others how important courtesy is <3

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  117. You will probably not care for my comment because it is how against birthday parties I am. My daughter was the only child not invited to a classmates birthday party in the entire class and she was told about it by everyone. She was really shy and believe me it wasn't pretty for a while and it definitely made her life much worse for a while. She still had to go to class with these kids every day after that and constantly hear about it. Mine didn't end up with at happy ending at all. She did learn a lesson though, she is now a counselor working with children with learning disabilities, adhd, slightly autistic, you know, the ones that aren't invited to birthday parties, and I could not be more proud of her. I'm sorry that this happened to your son, but maybe we just should stop the birthday parties all together and no one will get hurt in any way.

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  118. I just read the article on MSN about your son's birthday party. My heart broke just seeing the pictures and I could not even imagine what your son and family must have gone through. But as I read your posts on your blog and see what wonderful outpouring of support and gifts that your son has received to celebrate his birthday it makes me smile. I hope that your son can now look at what happened as a blessing and that no matter what, even people he never met, wish him the best and many more birthdays to come. I want to wish him a Happy Belated Birthday and many many more birthdays ahead all the way from Southern California :D. May God bless you and your family. Take care.

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  119. I never understand the whole not RSVPing craze, I just went through a similar situation myself with my 6 yr old daughters first real birthday with friends as well. I even put a date of when to RSVP by so I had time to plan how much of what I had to buy for the party and NO ONE RSVPed. Luckly I had kept every invitation to the parties we had gone to since school started and started making phone calls to remind parents of a party. Every single one RSVPed they were coming after they were put on the spot by me and out of the 24 invites I sent out only 4 kids showed up. It was ok by me b/c those kids were the ones my little girl wanted at her party to begin with. I always make it my priority to RSVP even if we are not coming just so the parent knows either way and can plan accordingly. I learned from the parents who showed up they had the same thing happen to them when their children's party was planned, more kids showed up then they had enough food for, others barely had anyone showing up. My mom was a stickler for RSVP and manners and I guess it stuck with me. I wish parents today would as well, even if your busy a simple 1 min. phonecall will not take time out of your busy schedule.

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  120. Hi! My name is Tais, i'm from Brazil and i've read your post about Mahlon's Birthday. I felt so sad for him, but now, reading that Jeff Kinney himself has spoke to him and seeing that he's received so many gifts from so many people made me really happy.
    Unfortunately i can't send him any b-day card because i have no money to do it, but i really hope his next birthday can be so good as he will forget what happened this year. I don't know him but i know that he is a good boy and he will be a good man. God bless all your family. :)
    Take care.
    Tais Cristina.

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  121. I've been reading both articles, comments as well. And I do not normally browse forums but your story did came on the news and did spreaded out a lot. I want to see at first I had teary eyes and was having talks on the story here. While it was Originally about RSVP (still not sure on the full name but I understand it being meaning of giving a response) I desire say I am extremely happy things tuned out well for Your boy who seem like a very good kid. Readers and interweb users have been generous and this makes me happy as well. It might not replace the presence of friends to a birthday but surely will make his memory less of a harsh burden to remember.

    But anyway, I want you to know that I am guilty of being one person to often not giving RSPV and that it did made me ashamed. Which is a good thing since your story did made me realize how not showing or giving response might affect people's plans or feelings. Truth is same happened to me when I was having my 10th years old birthday and instead I decided to shelter myself and ignore making friends. So please make sure for me little M makes a lot of friends!

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  122. My name is Tais and i'm from Brazil. I've read your post about Mahlon's birthday and it simply broke my heart. I felt really sad for him because I could imagine exactly how he felt because it happened to me when I was 10 years old. But now, reading this post, I am so glad that everything is fine with him and i can imagine how happy he was when Jeff Kinney has spoke to him. This is so good to see! :)
    Unfortunately I can't send any gift to him because I have no money for that (my country is experiencing a bad situation and things are very hard here) but I send all the love to him and to all of your family. I don't know him but I can see that he is a good kid and he will be a good man 'cause he has a great family. :)
    God bless you all.

    Tais Cristina Moreira.

    P.s.: Sorry about my bad English. lol

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  123. My heart broke when I just read your son's story on yahoo. I have a 8 year old myself who loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid also and we just had him a bday party at the house. I couldn't imagine doing all that planning and no one showed up. I will definitely by sending Mahlon a birthday card.

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  124. My heart has been broken reading Mahlon's story on yahoo. I have an 8 year old who loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid and just recently had a birthday party at the house. I couldn't imagine doing all that planning and no one showed up. I will definitely be sending Mahlon a card.

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  125. I'm so happy for you. I only wish my own son's story ended like that. There were some kids there but none of his friends. It gave me the opportunity to show him how much his family cares for and loves him. I actually live near Jeff Kinney and his Awesome bookstore, Unlikely Story. Thank you for this. I thought it was me.

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  126. Happy belated birthday to Mahlon. Tell him we are thinking of him and sending him good wishes from Saratoga Springs NY.

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  127. Found the blog from someones post and we too this year for our son had a big birthday and he invited his class and many other who he thought were friends which was over 40 invites and no one came not one and i know it hurt my son really bad but he wouldn't show it cause some family did show up. Will never set him up to be hurt like that ever again!!

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  128. Oi, M!

    Eu moro no Brasil, São Paulo.

    Você é especial e queria te desejar um FELIZ ANIVERSÁRIO!

    Se pudesse, te enviaria uma bola de futebol para jogarmos. Fiquei com vontade de experimentar o bolo de aniversário, mas já deve ter acabado. :D

    Deus abençoe você e sua família.

    Abraço daqui do Brasil e PARABÉNS! :)

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  129. its really nice to see how many people truly care for kids that they don't even know. kids are our future. were ok with kids like M OUT THERE

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  130. This is still not about the RSVP, this is about you getting to know other parents, as a parent myself, I will not bring my child to a complete strangers house.

    There is a plethora of school events, including PTA meetings, in which you could of taken the time to befriend the other parents.

    You seem to expect the other parents to go out of their way for you, someone they do not know, yet you wont do that yourself.

    This same thing will happen every year until YOU take the time to do this one simple thing.

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  131. My son just turned 11 on oct 26 and he has very few friends and has alopecia so he struggles with looking different too . Friends come as a struggle to my son and it breaks my heart . We did exactly what you did we have a family party then take it to the bowling alley!! Hope things at his new school get better and happy b day to him!

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  132. HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY FROM YOUR FRIEND FROM TENNESSEE❤️

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  133. I would like to send your son a birthday card, if thats okay. Let me know how to contact you.

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  134. Happy Belated birthday Mahlon! I'm so happy that you were able to enjoy it, even with the dashed hopes of celebrating with lots of friends. You have an amazing heart and grace not often found in adults, let alone a 9 year old boy. Sounds like you guys have a wonderful family! all the best to you, so glad it turned out like it did!

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  135. Happy Belated Birthday Mahlon!!! I really wish you all the best young man!!! It looks like you have a pretty amazing family!! Take care ♥
    pATTI...

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  136. As I read this story I couldn't help but to tear-up at the disappointment and of your sweet little man. As a Dad, I was angry for him. While I was thinking about the situation, I realized that we had done just that over this last weekend. We bailed on a child's fifth birthday without giving any indication. We were exhausted from being out of town recently and dropped the ball. We're down in San Diego, so it was an unrelated party, but he point stuck. Your story has convicted me and taught me. Give your awesome kid a huge hug from our family.

    -Greg B

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  137. Not the contempt, the reason for his anguish; tomorrow you remember waking up early every day and happiness every day.

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  138. Not the contempt, the reason for his anguish; tomorrow you remember waking up early every day and happiness every day.

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  139. Please wish M a great big happy birthday!!

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  140. Me and my 10 year old daughter were just heartbroken with this story. We are so happy with the outcome.
    Happy belated birthday!!!

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  141. Just read your story on People.com
    Want to say Happy Birthday with delay to your sweet Mahlon.
    He is having a friend from France ... me ;-)
    mes amitiés
    Laëtitia

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  142. Hi Kristen,

    Believe it or not, your story about your son's birthday got cited in a famous Chinese news website, http://www.wenxuecity.com/news/2016/11/02/5734674.html. Now millions (or shall I say billions?) of Chinese readers all know your story and how it finished with a not-so-sad ending. Every kid deserves a fantasy. And your beloved Mae just lived one. :)

    A Warm Wish from China,

    Jian M.

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  143. Hi! I am a reporter for The Oregonian and I was wondering if I could use some of your pictures for a story about your son's birthday on OregonLive.com. You can email me at lacker@oregonian.com. Thanks!

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  144. hey there, hiii mahlon
    at first- sorry that i am a little bit late. at second: my english isn't the best - i'' sorry for that too- but as i heard today of your story i had to cry.
    being new in a town/ city is no reason for such acting of those people; it could be that you cannot come but then there is a mobile phone or a mail or whatever!
    and mahlon: don't think that you could be not ok! you ARE ok! you're great! be as kind as you can at your new home/ place but don't do all the things someone says you should only for being accepted! there are many people being proud to know you- i'm sure! try to be strong and take you're time! it'll be better! and don't forget your family- together your as strong as you have to be!
    so: HAPPY BIRTHDAY and take care of yourself and the people around you that are ok!

    greets from zurich, switzerland!!
    cc

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  145. hey there, hiii mahlon
    at first- sorry that i am a little bit late. at second: my english isn't the best - i'' sorry for that too- but as i heard today of your story i had to cry.
    being new in a town/ city is no reason for such acting of those people; it could be that you cannot come but then there is a mobile phone or a mail or whatever!
    and mahlon: don't think that you could be not ok! you ARE ok! you're great! be as kind as you can at your new home/ place but don't do all the things someone says you should only for being accepted! there are many people being proud to know you- i'm sure! try to be strong and take you're time! it'll be better! and don't forget your family- together your as strong as you have to be!
    so: HAPPY BIRTHDAY and take care of yourself and the people around you that are ok!

    greets from zurich, switzerland!!
    cc

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  146. The story literally left me in tears, it breaks my heart to hear that such a terrible disappointment happens to such a positive, happy kid. I do however believed that with the support and love from his clearly AMAZING parents you will be able to put the experience in the past soon. I'm also glad to hear about the amount of support and warm words coming from all over the Internet. Keep on smiling, Malhon, you're a hero! :)

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  147. Happy Birthday Mahlon from Victoria, BC! If you ever come this way, know that cake is waiting for you!

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  148. Happy Birthday, Mahlon! Come visit us up in Victoria, BC for cake!

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  149. Your son seems so sweet, and I'm so glad so many people have reached out to him! For my daughter's 5th birthday, no one showed up for more than half an hour, and I was crying my eyes out, so I understand what you were going through!

    That being said, for birthday parties we always invite a mix of classmates, family friends, friends from the neighborhood, etc - so even if I don't have contact info for classmates, I can text / email the people we know to see if they're coming. We just had a birthday party for my other daughter, and only about a third were from school - the rest were friends from the neighborhood, church, etc. Also, having a relationship already makes it more likely that the kids and parents will do their best to come. 😁 In the future, maybe have your son ask some classmates over for playdates? Gradually make friends at school, through other activities (maybe boy scouts, sports, clubs, etc?) and the neighborhood. I think next year his birthday party will be packed! 😁

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  150. Your son seems so sweet, and I'm so glad so many people have reached out to him! For my daughter's 5th birthday, no one showed up for more than half an hour, and I was crying my eyes out, so I understand what you were going through!

    That being said, for birthday parties we always invite a mix of classmates, family friends, friends from the neighborhood, etc - so even if I don't have contact info for classmates, I can text / email the people we know to see if they're coming. We just had a birthday party for my other daughter, and only about a third were from school - the rest were friends from the neighborhood, church, etc. Also, having a relationship already makes it more likely that the kids and parents will do their best to come. 😁 In the future, maybe have your son ask some classmates over for playdates? Gradually make friends at school, through other activities (maybe boy scouts, sports, clubs, etc?) and the neighborhood. I think next year his birthday party will be packed! 😁

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  151. I am so happy that your story inspired kindness and support in others. We ALL need more of that! Thank you for sharing your story. I know you have received some criticism but know that you sharing it will result in people being more thoughtful and empathetic!

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  152. Parabéns mahlon , um grande abraço e beijo aqui do Brasil , meus filhos gostariam de te conhecer : João 10 anos e Ana 7 anos
    Você é muito especial ����

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  153. Parabéns mahlon meus filhos mandam grande abraço e beijo aqui do Brasil , gostariam muito de te conhecer : João de 10 anos e Ana de 5 anos

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  154. You're doing a great job raising a kind, sweet boy. You should be so proud of the way you and your family handled the situation. I have no doubt your son will grow into a thoughtful, caring man who will laugh about this one day. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  155. Layne hi! I'm glad it happened things to Mahlon after his birthday. I wish much happiness and joy to your family, and this is the most important ... you guys always get together. Tell Mahlon he has friends here in Brazil. God bless you (my English is not the best but I hope you understand)

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  156. Congratulations Mahlon!! From Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brasil
    Fábio
    fabioalvesfloripa@gmail.com

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  157. Congratulations Mahlon!! From Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brasil
    Fábio
    fabioalvesfloripa@gmail.com

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  158. Aqui no Brasil ficamos muito emocionados com sua história, não tem como um menino tão lindo e especial ter que passar por uma situação dessas... mas, no final sempre acontecem coisas boas e com vc não foi diferente. Desejamos um Feliz aniversário e que venham muitas festas que temos certeza que teram muitos convidados!!😍😘

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  159. Aqui no Brasil ficamos muito emocionados com sua história, não tem como um menino tão lindo e especial ter que passar por uma situação dessas... mas, no final sempre acontecem coisas boas e com vc não foi diferente. Desejamos um Feliz aniversário e que venham muitas festas que temos certeza que teram muitos convidados!!😍😘
    Bjos Alline Moura

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  160. So not right, regardless ...

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  161. he is so sweet <3 happy birthday Mahlon!!!

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  162. I followed your views sometime back and shared via my site.
    Your son is sweet and I am so upset by all negative comments.

    Wait, I am now subject to 'approval' for posting on your site (being picked up by major media I subscribe to)? You only approve if you LIKE what people have to say?

    Wrong!!!!!

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  163. Read the article in Time that was posted on Flipboard about your son's birthday party. It's very sad and not what anyone should bear.
    My wife and I share a rootless childhood -- she went to 13 schools in 12 years and I went to 11. We weren't military families. But she and I were always "the new kid" and it took time to make friends that were friends enough to invite over, or to be invited. It takes time, and it hurts. But ... kids are resilient and Mahlon will find friends and be accepted. I taught at the community college in Yakima for 30 years and worked with home-schooled Running Start kids; terrific kids but their social skills and ability to work within a group of 'strangers' was limited by being isolated for so long. For all its good, homeschooling has this one huge disadvantage. Nuture him and keep him in public school. Isolation will solve nothing. Bend has a great school system and Mahlon should take advantage of it!

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  164. I WOULD LOVE TO GO TO YOUR BIRTHDAY PARTY! MANY PEOPLE IN WORLD WOULD! YOU ARE A SPECIAL GUY, MAHLON!
    TAKE CARE MY FRIEND!
    HUGS FROM BRAZIL,
    RAMIRES

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  165. Hi, i just saw your post from MSN lifestyle..
    It's so sad to see such post about the birthday party turned out sad moment.. after i came to see your blogs and saw your latest post. I'm so happy to see your kids is a positive and a bright kids... Hopes no such tragedy happen to other kids too.. quite appreciate for all the concern from everyone. i wish i could send gifts but im not from your local.. anyway, no worry about the birthday party because i always feel the best to celebrate is with my closest family...

    Hope my love and concern had sent to you and your family...

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  166. Hii, Mahlon! I only read this text today, but I want to wish you a little late happy birthday from Brazilll! I have a 9 years old sister named sofia, she said you're really cute and she would like to go to your party. And my brother Levi liked the bowling part - he loves it! I hope you have a super birthday party next year, with family and friends!!! Feliz aniversário! Abraços da Ju

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  167. Hi Mahlon, happy birthday! enjoy your life my friend!!!!

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  168. I'm so happy for Mahlon! He deserves all these good things that are happening.

    Happy Birthday from Curitiba, Brazil!

    P.S.: I'm sending him a very special Birthday Card. It may take a while untill you guys receive it, but it has our best intentions.

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  169. I have teared up many times over many things and this week I came across the infamous "crying cubs fan" video on Jimmy kimmel. That was the sweetest video I've seen in a long time and I teared up pretty bad since I share a strong passion for sports myself and also since I just can't stand watching other people cry, so much so that even looking at tears sometimes makes my eyes tear even when if it's not a big deal to begin with. But this, this saddened me so much (obviously I teared up) that i started digging more into this and came across your blog.

    I want to start by wishing Mahlon a very happy birthday! Seeing the kid in those photos while reading your article was so saddening. That look of anticipation in his eyes was enough for me to empathize with him on a deeper level. And reading your entire article on the first incident and coming across the part where you mentioned that he sobbed, literally broke me down, and now I'm here working a shift at my university campus.
    Nevertheless, the things that followed restores a little of my hope on humanity and hearing that even jimmy followed up along with a thousand others on Facebook gave me so much happiness!

    Much love from India!
    P.s. I hope his future birthdays are even better and even if there are no classmates around, rest assured that at least his family is around and a family is all that matters the most to anyone because there are people on this planet who are not even that lucky. Cheers!

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  170. What a sweet boy, you must be so proud of Mahlon! Ignore those that offered negative comments. A child that still brought treat bags for classmates that didn't attend his party is showing forgiveness and kindness, how could that ever be wrong? Shows, too, that he is being raised in a loving home. Hugs to Mahlon!

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  171. Happy Birthday Mahlon! My son is also new this year, and is also adjusting to school. You seem like such a great kid and you and my son have a lot in common. He's read all of the DOAWK books, all of the Train Your Dragon and Harry Potters. If you ever want to meet, we could grab a movie and you guys can meet. We live in NE Bend in the Boyd Acres area (by Target). Hope we get to see you around sometime. And welcome to the area! Being new can be both nerve-wracking but so exciting if you let it. :) it dies take some adjusting, like my son is doing, but before you know it, you'll feel like you've been here all your life. You guys can email me if you want to hang out and make a friend: aschwer@sonic.net.

    All the best,
    Angela

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  172. Hi M and M's Mom! Happy belated birthday! :)

    I just wanted to tell you that the same thing happened to me! I sent invites out to about 100 friends and 60 of them responded either "Yes" or "Maybe" to whether they were coming. My mom and I went out and bought tons of party supplies and food. When it came time for the party, the only other person who was there was my best friend who had helped me and my mom set everything up! I was really upset at first - I went and hid in another room to cry for a little while. Eventually my mom and friend and I ate as many party snacks as we could and had a pretty good time, but I still felt embarrassed for a long time afterwards. But it's been 10 years since then... and what I remember most is how awesome my mom and friend were. I don't remember who I invited or who didn't show up. I remember the good food better than them! And the good food mattered more, because we had fun buying it and eating it, and because I shared it with people I loved and who loved me. Anyway, M, I'm so, so sorry that happened to you, too, and I'm so glad to see all the cool gifts you've gotten. It's really fantastic that you got to speak to Jeff Kinney!! I suspect that in 10 years, you WILL remember it as the year no one showed up to your party, but you will also remember it more as the year that the people who really matter in your life - and lots of strangers-turned-friends who really care too! - did everything they could to make sure you knew you are loved.

    To M's mom - it wasn't your planning that was the problem. I sent out invites weeks in advance. I even got RSVPs. People just didn't show up. I got the sense from the friends I talked to that they saw it as a casual, optional thing. Some forgot, many said they meant to drop by but ended up doing other things. It sounded like most just didn't feel like making the effort when it wasn't socially "required" (like a wedding). And for what it's worth, I accidentally forgot to RSVP to the most recent wedding I attended. I felt terrible when I found the return envelope, stamped and addressed, lodged in a crook in my car. It had nothing to do with how I felt about the bride and groom, though. I love them and wish the most happiness for them. I'm just clumsy and forgetful sometimes!

    All in all I think people mess up and get distracted by life and don't mean to hurt your feelings. They're just all caught up in the things that stress them, and usually parties aren't stressful, so people tend to forget about them! I don't think it means anything about whether they like you. But the way everyone came together to make something great of it... that means a lot about whether people like you. And judging by that, it looks like a lot of people LOVE you!!! :)

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  173. Thank you for sharing your story and I am so happy it has turned out so well! This touched me deeply. I am a mom as well and this situation made me tear up. Every child should have happy memories of special days. I totally agree about RSVPs and have had to repeatedly ask parents for them so I knew what my son's parties would look like. I hope your son (and your other kids) have many wonderful memories of their special days. Also, please don't beat yourself up about this - you tried your best, give yourself a hug.

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  174. Happy Birthday darling boy!! From 4 awesome kids in Vancouver, Canada!!

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  175. Happy Birthday darling boy!! From 4 awesome kinds in Vancouver, Canada!!

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  176. Happy Birthday Mahlon from Cypress, Texas! I'm very sorry about what happened on your birthday but it seems you got the best gift with an autographed book which is priceless and a wonderful mom who cares so much about you! If you are ever in Houston, Texas, we will take you out for cake. My 8 year old, Evan, will write you a card. Love, Lisa

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  177. Kristen, Thank you for sharing this story on your blog. I think you are a great mom and I hope the parents of the kids that were invited to the birthday party realize their mistake.I am so glad so many people reached out to you and to your sweet little boy, he deserves this and all the gifts a hundred percent! I am sending a small gift to Mahlon for his birthday, keeping in mind his love for comic books. I hope he likes it. Madhura, from Portland, Oregon

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  178. Happy Birthday, Mahlon! Your mother's story about your birthday party went that viral, that even here in Switzerland we want to congrat and comfort you and your family. As a child of immigrants, I had to make the same experience. In the end, it makes you a better person. And that's what counts: That you like the person you become and not what others think about you. Forget about your class mates and their parents, who didn't have the decency to respond to your invitation. Usually, they've got some unresolved issues with themselves. We should pity them and not be angry with them at all. Take care of your mother and try to cheer her up. I bet she was more upset than you were. She's a great mother and she didn't do anything wrong. As I mentioned, it's the others who don't like what they have become. Therefore, they have to critize your mother for no reasons. That makes them feel good. You see, not only children but adults as well can be very mean. You will encounter this situation more often in your life. You can't change anything about that. Therefore, it's a waste of time being angry with those people or think about the reasons, why they behaved this way. Just be yourself, be kind to your siblings, listen to your parents and study/learn a lot. Greetings from Switzerland, Ana.

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  179. Dear Mahlon, Happy Birthday to you! You may have heard a lot of people telling you, that they have experienced the same as you did. I'm going to tell you a story about me. I didn't experience, what you did. I was once the "classmate" who didn't show up to a birthday party of a friend, with whom I usually spent time in school. I didn't show up on purpose. Other classmates didn't show up as well. We thought ourselves to be something better, because he was a child from a migrant family. Even some of our parents told us, that "those children" are ruining the future of "our country". Now, 15 years later, I'm deeply sorry and regret my actions as a 10year old boy. I apologized to my former classmate only recently. He accepted the apology and wasn't angry at all with me. I'm very relieved about that, but I will always regret my past actions. Furthermore, I won't ever let something like that happen again. I won't ever bully or discriminate someone for no reasons. I felt guilty reading your story. I want to apologize for your classmates' actions. I hope, that they will apologize to you themselves. If they don't, than be assured, that they are deeply sorry and they are just to wimpy to tell you this in person. Thinking about you!

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  180. sou brasileiro e tenho dois lindos filhos, partiu meu coração eu ver esta materia. como o seu lindo filho falou que não era popular, ele esta errado ele e muito popular. DEUS nós propociona algumas situações porque sabe o começo meio e fim das nossas vidas. parabéns por sua linda coragem de exspor sua indignação ao olhos da humanidade tenho todo o respeito e admiração por você.De os parabéns para este garotão, aqui no brasil em algumas cidades como em são paulo chamamos os garotas de mulecote... meu email se vc quiser responder.... regis.1500@hotmail.com. fique com DEUS

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  181. sou brasileiro e tenho dois lindos filhos, partiu meu coração eu ver esta materia. como o seu lindo filho falou que não era popular, ele esta errado ele e muito popular. DEUS nós propociona algumas situações porque sabe o começo meio e fim das nossas vidas. parabéns por sua linda coragem de exspor sua indignação ao olhos da humanidade tenho todo o respeito e admiração por você.De os parabéns para este garotão, aqui no brasil em algumas cidades como em são paulo chamamos os garotas de mulecote... meu email se vc quiser responder.... regis.1500@hotmail.com. fique com DEUS

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  182. sou brasileiro e tenho dois lindos filhos, partiu meu coração eu ver esta materia. como o seu lindo filho falou que não era popular, ele esta errado ele e muito popular. DEUS nós propociona algumas situações porque sabe o começo meio e fim das nossas vidas. parabéns por sua linda coragem de exspor sua indignação ao olhos da humanidade tenho todo o respeito e admiração por você.De os parabéns para este garotão, aqui no brasil em algumas cidades como em são paulo chamamos os garotas de mulecote... meu email se vc quiser responder.... regis.1500@hotmail.com. fique com DEUS

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  183. Hey Mahlon sua história chegou até os sites brasileiros, agora são oito horas da manhãs mas tirei um tempo do meu horário de trabalho para te desejar um feliz aniversario pena que estou longe para mandar te dar um presente especial mas se quiser algo do Brasil quem sabe eu consiga te mandar. Espero que você leia esta mensagem, não fique triste com o que houve aproveite sua infância o máximo que puder, obedeça seus pais e seja um bom garoto, a vida é uma caixinha de surpresas e muita coisa boa ainda vai acontecer."Não é fácil ser criança e ninguém sabe disso melhor do que Greg Heffley, um herói improvável" FELIZ ANIVERSARIO PEQUENO "GREG"

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  184. sou brasileiro e tenho dois lindos filhos, partiu meu coração eu ver esta materia. como o seu lindo filho falou que não era popular, ele esta errado ele e muito popular. DEUS nós propociona algumas situações porque sabe o começo meio e fim das nossas vidas. parabéns por sua linda coragem de exspor sua indignação ao olhos da humanidade tenho todo o respeito e admiração por você.De os parabéns para este garotão, aqui no brasil em algumas cidades como em são paulo chamamos os garotas de mulecote... meu email se vc quiser responder.... regis.1500@hotmail.com. fique com DEUS

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  185. Mahlon happy birthday, congratulations and much happiness. May your life be filled with happiness, love, health. May all your dreams come true because you're a special boy.

    🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉


    Kisses

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  186. That's wonderful! I was so sad to hear this story, but beyond thrilled that it had a happy ending.

    Wish your son a happy birthday for me!

    - Krys, Boston,MA

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  187. Muchas felicidades desde España!!

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  188. HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM BRAZIL :-)
    I wish your every day to be filled with lots of love, laughter, happiness and the warmth of sunshine,fill up your heart with joy and blessings!!

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  189. Hello Mahlon, very happy birthday from Spain. I wish you had a nice day with your family, I'm sure it has been great! And thanks for being so kind with animals, I love them as well.
    Love, Eva.

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  190. Social Media can be a wonderful thing! I am glad he realizes he is not alone! We had a similiar experience with twins. 15 years later it still stings like a bee. I am thrilled you writing made Layne's experience better!!

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  191. Hi ! Support comes from all over the world to you, even from Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL.:)My sympathies, heart and soul included :) to you! A big tight hug goes along to you, today and always! I wish I had been there to celebrate with you; I just love to make people happy. Be happy no matter what! Just tread your path and go forward! Good luck to you and your family! Hugs and Kisses. OOOXXX

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  192. Happy birthday from Barcelona Mahlon! Why not send me an invitation? I would not miss your birthday party. I send you a big kiss!! 😘

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  193. Your kids are so cute! Greetings from Brazil! <3

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  194. I heard about Mahlon's birthday party story today on the German news, then googled and found your blog and read the whole story, it nearly brought me to tears!! I'm so glad your boy's birthday did have a happy ending! Much love to your family from Germany ☺️

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