Boy celebrates birthday with fire department after nobody shows up to his party

BEND, Ore. (ABC NEWS) — A nine-year-old boy from Oregon was waiting for his friends to show up for his birthday party, but they never came.

Little Mahlon’s mother, Kristen Layne, told ABC News she was devastated for her son.

“He gave out seven invitations and no one RSVPed,” she said. But because her daughter similarly had no RSVPs to her party earlier in the month and kids did show up, Mahlon’s parents weren’t concerned enough to call off the party.

The family is new to the town and Mahlon had been home schooled until this year.

“It was the first birthday party he was going to have friends at,” she said. “He was counting down the days until his birthday and party.” He even made the decorations himself.

Layne said the family purchased $100 in pizza and loads of chips from Costco. But then no kids came.

She took to her blog, Peanut Layne, and all the emotion poured out.

“I was so devastated,” she told ABC News of the post. “I’ve been through traumatic experiences in my life and this was right up there. My husband said never heard me cry like that. I sobbed myself to sleep. My face literally swollen, burning from crying. It looked like I had two black eyes.”

On her blog, she wrote:

“I don’t blame the kids who didn’t show up, and i’m trying very hard not to blame the parents as i’m honestly too devastated to be angry. There are a million excuses and scenarios that could explain why no one showed. Perhaps they didn’t feel comfortable sending their kids over to our house for a couple of hours, perhaps they already had plans, perhaps their child was sick, or perhaps their child’s invitation never made it home and is crumpled up into a ball at the bottom of their backpack, who really knows? What I do know though, is that M will likely never forget his ninth birthday. It will forever be etched in his memory bank as that one year when no one came to his party. And that kills me as a parent. And 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.”

Layne said one parent has since reached out and acknowledged she had no real reason for not RSVPing to the party. She also apologized. That parent did invite Mahlon over for a play date.

None of the other parents have reached out.

As for Mahlon, he is doing ok, according to his mom. He hopes next year’s party will go better than this one.

The Bend, Oregon fire department heard about the party gone wrong and invited the family in for a visit — and Mahlon got the star treatment.


Layne just wants people to know that on the other end of the invitation is “a real person, a real child.”

“It’s ok if you can’t come,” she said. “Just let the host know. When you don’t, they think no one cares.”

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