Mahlon Layne Credit: Courtesy Kristen P. Layne

"Parents Please Don’t Forget to RSVP." That is the title of the heartbreaking blog post Kristen P. Layne penned on Monday, October 24, after no one showed up to her son Mahlon’s 9th birthday. 

“To understand my devastation, I need to tell you about our newly turned nine year old son,” the Oregon-based mother of six began. “[He] is a bright, sensitive, caring little boy who loves animals and babies. We jokingly call him the baby whisperer as he has this incredible ability to calm a crying baby. M’s prized possessions are his stuffed animals and plushy characters from his favorite movies and shows.” 

In the piece, Layne explained that her third grader, who had previously been homeschooled but recently began attending a local public school, was excited to invite his new classmates to his celebration. “This ninth birthday was supposed to be his year. His special day. His first real party with friends,” the 38-year-old wrote. Which is why she pulled out all the stops planning a bash with a theme dedicated to his favorite book series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid.


“He handed out multiple invitations to his friends at school and one from tae kwon do and eagerly counted down the days, hours and minutes until his birthday,” Layne revealed, adding that Mahlon picked out his clothes, cleaned his room and assembled goody bags for his buddies.

“When the party time came and passed, and none of the party guests were here yet, I started to get a little nervous. I had asked parents to RSVP on the invitation but hadn’t received a single reply,” Layne wrote. “I expressed my concerns with my husband the night before his party but he reassured me that ‘Nobody seems to RSVP these days. Don’t worry, they’ll come. Kids love birthday parties.’” 

But one one came. Not one single kid.

When Layne’s husband arrived at the house “with enough pizza to feed a small army” he was greeted with tears. “M hung his head, his tiny shoulders began to shake,’” Layne wrote. Then he uttered the wrenching words: “No one came, Dad. I guess I’m not very popular at school.’”

But there is a happy ending. Since Layne shared the story on her blog, Life on Peanut Layne, Mahlon has been inundated with birthday cards and gifts from people around the world — including Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney. “He FaceTimed with Jeff and received an advanced copy of his new book,” Layne tells Us Weekly. “And the Bend Fire Department gave him a personal tour yesterday.”

And while the family appreciates the generous outpouring of support, Layne says she wrote the blog post to remind parents about the importance of answering the RSVP. “I was up half the night sobbing … I just kept picturing M peering down the street watching for cars and then hanging his head when they turned off onto another street,” she tells Us. “My heart just broke into a million pieces.” 

Layne is on Facebook and Twitter.

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