When nobody showed up for 8-year-old’s birthday

Graham Day turned 8 on Sunday and his parents did what parents of 8-year-olds often do when kids turn 8: They planned a party, sent out invitations, and then baked and stocked-up on food.

Nobody showed up, the Dallas Morning News reports.


It’s not the first time. It happened when he turned 6, too.

“This always happens,” the devastated boy told his mother.

“He said it in the most broken voice I’ve ever heard,” Day said. “It happened once before, but this time something snapped in me and it was like no, this is not happening to him again.”

So she turned to social media, posting on Nextdoor:

“I think I’m posting this out of utter emotional distress … but I need to ask if anyone wants to come to an 8 yr old boys birthday party to show him that he’s loved and valued as a person,” she wrote. “NO gifts are required other than the gift of friendship.”

Nobody showed up.

So mom drove to the police department and asked if an officer might swing by because the young man wants to be a cop someday.

The entire shift showed up.

Then the fire department arrived.

And then some neighbors.

Jennifer Day said her son forgot — at least for a time — that his friends never showed.

“Something like this, it literally guts you as a parent because you can’t fix it, at least in that moment,” she told the paper, perfectly describing what they never tell you about being a parent.

  • MrE85

    I’m not a parent, but I was an 8-year-old boy once. If I were Graham, I would ask my parents to please drop the whole party thing. If he really is loved and valued as a person, perhaps they will listen.

    • You’re seriously questioning whether his parents love and value him as a person?

      • MrE85

        No, but they set him up for humiliation by planning another party after this had already happened before. This was not a fun day for the kid, and the parents planned it. I’m just suggesting that they realize this party idea isn’t working, and try something else. There are all kinds of ways to celebrate birthdays.

        • There’s no indication he didn’t want a party.

          I try never to judge parents. it’s a hard job. Everyone is always expert on how other people’s kids should be raised.

          • MrE85

            “Everyone is always expert on how other people’s kids should be raised.”

            Very true.

      • Al

        I think I’m with ’85 on this one. An RSVP deadline would have saved a lot of heartache, Mom & Dad.

    • jon

      Having been a 6 year old boy that had this happen to me…
      I didn’t have any more birthday parties…
      I didn’t desire any more birthday parties…

      I guess my girlfriend, now wife, threw me a party at 28, after she heard the story of my 6th birthday party… people showed up… it was an ok time… but I’m just not that into parties, so it didn’t happen again.

  • Zachary

    Thanks Bob. I think we all needed this.

  • Gary F

    My suspicion says there is more to this story. And the kid gets hurt.

    Nice job by the police and fire departments.

  • EarthToBobby

    I also have a birthday that falls on Memorial Day weekend. It’s not an easy weekend to get people out to celebrate with you, and that’s something he will eventually have to learn to work with.

    Could be worse — his birthday could’ve fallen on spring break, Christmas, etc.

  • Noelle

    I thought it was a sweet story. Not sure I would have wanted a news article in the archives that would later show up under my name in Google searches, but on the flip side it’s nice to hear about news that isn’t utterly devastating at times. 🙂

  • John

    Do his parents know that they don’t have to have the kid’s birthday party ON his birthday?

    Assuming the main reason nobody showed was because the party was on the first long weekend most of us have had since January 1 (yes, there are a couple government holidays in there, but many businesses don’t close for those), and everyone had plans.

    My daughter’s birthday is in early September, and we struggle every year with how to put together a party. It’s too close to the beginning of school, so the logistics get us. Now we just have her party a couple weeks late, and everyone wins.

  • Postal Customer

    “It literally guts you”

    No it doesn’t.