Being let down is a bitter pill to swallow, but one can change a bad situation into a good one—come up with an idea that will put all the hurt aside and make it disappear like mist before the sun.
When no one showed up at Graham’s sixth birthday party, the boy was devastated. But when it happened a second time two years later, his mom had enough and decided to jump into action, refusing to sit back and let another birthday party be ruined.
“I lied, and lied, and lied to make it all better,” mom Jennifer Day said about the day none of the 19 kids who received invitations to her son Graham’s sixth birthday party showed up, which she believes happened because the younger son is nonverbal and has autism.
“His younger brother is not always the easiest to get around. He’d be unmanageable sometimes, having some meltdowns, and some days were worse than others,” Day said.
“There’s awareness for a child that has autism. What nobody seems to understand is that the normal siblings suffer terribly because of it.”
So when it happened a second time, Graham just shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘This always happens.” “I just snapped,” said his mother. “This is not okay, this is not happening. I can fix this and I’ve got to try.”
Day reached out to friends to bring their kids to the party. She went to the police station and explained what happened before asking if an officer might have time to stop by to surprise Graham. When Officer Brandon Schmidt of the Hurst Police Department heard what happened, he volunteered his entire team and got some firefighter friends to come along.
“We threw up our lights, hit the sirens a few times, and [Graham] started running across the driveway, stopped on the grass, and he was just in shock at that point,” Schmidt said. “He was showing us his Nerf guns. He looked like he was having a heyday with all the extra company and attention there.”
“This might have healed a piece of him,” Day said.
“We’re pretty much willing to do just about everything,” Schmidt said. “That’s what the job entails. We just want to help the community… especially a young kid [who had] nobody show up at his birthday party. A lot of people don’t think we have hearts, but we’re people too.”