When you're a kid, birthday parties are the best. You get to pig out on junk food, open a bunch of sweet presents, and hang out with all of your friends. It's a special day where you feel loved and appreciated. (And also hopefully you get a lot of presents.)
Last Sunday, six-year-old Teddy Mazzini threw a birthday celebration at Peter Piper Pizza in Tucson, Arizona. His mother helped him plan the event, and they invited thirty-two of his kindergarten classmates, plus their parents. Who could resist the siren call of free pizza? It turns out, everyone. Nobody showed up to Teddy's party.
Teddy's mom took a heartbreaking picture of her son sitting alone in the restaurant, in front of multiple pizzas and empty plates. A few people said they couldn't make it in advance, but who would have expected nobody to show up? The mother shared her Facebook photo with a reporter from KVOA, who shared it on his own Facebook page. "If you get a chance please wish Teddy a Happy Birthday," he wrote. "His mom sent me this after his friends weren't able to make it to his birthday party."
The post went viral, with hundreds of people sending birthday wishes from all over the country. One woman wrote, "I live near Tampa, Florida, and heard about you via my local news. I hope you have a wonderful year and I’m sending you a big hug." Another woman wrote, "People are flaky and inconsiderate sometimes. It happens, that doesn’t mean you aren’t great, just that people are silly. Best wishes kiddo!" And one 35-year-old man shared some wisdom: "Very, very few people still have the friends they made in elementary school as they do as adults...find something you love to do and be the best you can at it and most important, HAVE FUN!!!!"
Teddy also got some incredible presents. The local exterminator offered him a free birthday ride in a "mouse limo." (See photo above. What, your local exterminator doesn't have a mouse limo?) The professional soccer team Phoenix Rising invited Teddy to "join 7,000 of his closest friends" at a playoff game. But perhaps the coolest present came from the Phoenix Suns, who invited him to their game against the Lakers on Wednesday. "How about we celebrate with thousands at our place!" the basketball team tweeted. "Tickets to Wednesday’s #SunsVSLakers game are all yours Teddy! Talk soon!"
Some people criticized the mother for sharing her son's humiliation on the internet. "Quick! Someone call the news, let’s embarrass this kid even more than he already is," wrote one person on Facebook. "Good lord. This is so wrong." But considering the incredible presents, and the flood of positive messages, I'd say the pros outweigh the cons. "Thanks you guys," wrote Teddy's mom on Facebook. "I am showing him these messages and he is already smiling!"