Nobody Turned Up To This Boy's 9th Birthday Party. His Mum Wants You To Know Why. 6 years ago

Nobody Turned Up To This Boy's 9th Birthday Party. His Mum Wants You To Know Why.

A mother has written an open letter to the parents of seven children who didn't RSVP to her son's birthday bash, leaving the nine-year-old devastated and alone on the day of his party.

Kristen Lane sent invitations to seven children, asking them to join her little boy at her home to celebrate his ninth birthday.

Because Mahlon was home-schooled until recently, the party was to be his first where he would have the chance to invite some of his school friends.


Sharing her dismay on her blog Life on Peanut Layne, Kristen said her 'bright, sensitive, caring little boy who loves animals and babies' had risen at dawn to decorate the house on the big day:

"He hung streamers, blew up balloons, cleaned his room, took a bath, picked out his outfit, set the table, and carefully assembled the treat bags for his friends.  "Only three more hours until my friends arrive" he yelled. "This is the happiest day of my life, Momma. I can't wait until my friends get here!"

Sadly, the party start time came and passed. When Kristen's husband arrived home laden with pizzas for their little guests, the couple had to acknowledge that nobody was coming:

"The party should've been in full swing at that point, but instead M hung his head, his tiny shoulders began to shake. "No one came Dad. I guess I'm not very popular at school" and he sobbed."

The family persevered with the party, at pizza and opened presents, but the damage was done.


"Despite his pain, he tried his hardest to have a good time." says Kristen.

"My dad offered to take him bowling, something he's been wanting to do for a while. We showered him with hugs, love and kisses in a feeble attempt to salvage the disastrous day. We came home tired and exhausted. Once the kids were safely asleep, my husband and I fell apart. There's only been a few times I've seen my tough, manly husband tear up, and last night was one of them."

Answering critics who say she should have paid more attention to the planning of the party, Kristen says she acknowledges it could have been handled differently. Because the family are new in town, she didn't have phone number for the other mums and dads. When they didn't RSVP, she was cautiously optimistic and hoped they would still show up.

"Some have said I made excuses and didn't take any responsibility, which trust me, I totally do." she writes.

"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."

Happily, the story captured the attention of the international media, with many people getting in touch to let Mahlon know that they had been through something similar. He even received a phone call from Jeff Kinney, author of Mahlon's favourite book Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Buoyed by the support, as well as the many gifts and birthday cards he received, Mahlon is now busy working on is own comic book series, but his mum hopes parents everywhere remember the importance of a simple RSVP:

"... it could've all been avoided by a simple RSVP, via phone call, text, email, whatever, etc.  I know I will definitely never ignore those four little letters ever again." writes Kristen.

"Parents or caregivers, please, I beg you not to ignore it either.  I know you're busy, tired, stressed, have a million and one other things to do, etc. I'm right there with you, but please the next time you're tempted to ignore the handwritten invitation from a classmate, please remember that there could be a child sitting at an empty party table, crying into his napkin, feeling unloved and rejected."

Have you ever had an RSVP disaster? Share your story with us on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.

Images: Kristen Layne/ Life On Peanut Layne