Christian Larsen lives in Meridian, Idaho and just turned 9-years-old.  Christian wanted nothing more than to have a cool birthday party with his entire class.  He and his mother spent time putting together the invitations and finally sent them out to all 25 classmates.  Only one person responded saying they'd be at the party.  Christian's mom was devastated.

You see, Christian has autism which makes him a little different.  Not bad.  Just different.  Some kids struggle with different.  They don't necessarily know what to make of it and so it's sometimes just easier to stay away.  This leaves kids like Christian alone and wondering why it's so hard to have friends.

Christian's mom Lindsay was heartbroken at the thought of her baby boy having nobody at his party.  That's when she spilled her guts out on Facebook and what happened next was magical.  Here's the message Lindsay sent out on her Facebook Page...

Christian wanted to invite his whole class to his birthday party this year. He passed out the invitations. I only heard back from one girl, one out of 25 kids.  I don't blame them for that, I understand that behaviors and things that we're not used to can make us uncomfortable and make us shut down, but when you get to know someone that thing that was strange, that made you uncomfortable, that can become just a quirk and the quirk can become something special as you get to know them.

Word started spreading about this cool little kid and that's when Coach Dan Holtry and the entire Nampa High School football team stepped in.  When Coach Holtry heard about Christian he started talking to some of the players and then started sending out a text to the rest of the team and... well, this is what happened...

The kids, before I could finish the text, it feels like they were like, 'We're in... Coach, we are in!' They were like when do we do it, let's go. I was amazed how much they wanted to participate in this and take care of Christian.

Christian's birthday finally arrived and you wouldn't believe his face when he saw a group of young men marching towards him chanting his name.

The football team gave Christian two footballs and a game to play with his siblings.  Christian's mom Lindsay fought back the tears as she heard her little boy say this was one of the best days of his life.

Christian and his family plan on attending the Nampa High football games this year.  The team wants Christian to help them with some of their pre-game stuff and it's looking like a very special friendship and bond has already begun with this team and this little boy.

I think Lindsay's last statement to KTVB is an important one...

One of the biggest pieces of autism is the social piece. They can teach him the back and forth of playing. They can help him build relationships not only with them but with kids his own age.  One thing I'd like to say is for parents to talk to their kids, because everyone needs a friend. Talk to your kids about differences that other kids might have.

We're all different.  Some more than others I guess.  I'm not exactly sure how we gauge that but I've always felt very different.  So I guess, in some way, I can relate.  I think we all can.  I've always looked at 'different' as something cool.  Something interesting.  Something magical.  DO NOT let different scare you.  Embrace it and embrace others that are different as well.  I applaud these young men at Nampa High School for doing so.  I applaud their coach for setting such a great example because our future needs to be better and can only be better through action and through knowledge.  I also applaud Maggie O'Mara and the team at KTVB for shining the spotlight on such a beautiful story.  Maggie's THE best of the best and the Treasure Valley is lucky to have someone that has so much talent, ability, and most of all... a beautiful heart.

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