Happy Birthday, Colin!
Meet Colin Cunningham. When he grows up, he hopes to become a pastor, comedian, or missionary. He loves his Nintendo 3DS, and is an avid fan of Doctor Who. He lives in Michigan, and on March 9th, he’ll be 11-years-old. He’s your typical kid, except for the fact that his upcoming birthday won’t include a trip to the bowling alley or the movie theater. Quite possibly because all of his new friends wouldn’t be able to sit in the theater with him.
After his Mom, Jennifer, asked Colin what he wanted to do for his birthday, Colin said that planning a party wouldn’t be worthwhile, since nobody would come. Based on a sensory processing disorder that’s similar to Asperger’s Syndrome, he’s not the most popular kid at school. Jennifer said that her son eats his lunch alone in the school office every day because no one will let him sit with them, and “rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office.” Obviously seeing her son so upset really bothered Jennifer, so she did something amazing to make sure he knew how loved he really is.
Earlier this month, Jennifer set up a Facebook page called “Happy Birthday Colin” with hopes that family, friends, and strangers could send Colin positive thoughts and encouraging words for his big day. What happened was much bigger than Jennifer realized. In fact, the page blew up. Currently, Colin’s page has 1.9 million likes on Facebook and birthday greetings from all over the globe.
Colin has gotten so popular that Jennifer had to set up a P.O. Box for the birthday greetings people wished to send by mail. It’s almost constantly overloaded.
The best part of all? Colin has no idea about any of it. The birthday boy will be surprised by his numerous messages and mail on his actual birthday. Surely he’ll be overwhelmed, but chances are, he’ll never ever forget this year.
“All this love and support has caused me to just cry in front of my computer,” Jennifer wrote on the Facebook page. “Colin keeps asking me, ‘Are you okay mom? What’s wrong?’ I’ve been telling him I’m watching sad videos.”
Not only is this great for Colin, but it’s great to know that the world is so supportive over a boy whose typical day is more difficult than that of most of his peers. Jennifer’s great use of social media only helps to shed more light on sensory processing disorders, and shows how much heart and wisdom Colin has at the ripe old age of ten. Hopefully a few of his classmates will realize that Colin’s actions are not necessarily out of immaturity or hate, and give him some room at the lunch table during the remainder of this year. After all, one of the best advantages of a school setting is having the opportunity of getting to know a variety of different people, and gaining knowledge on the world outside of our average home life.
If you’d like to wish Colin a happy birthday, feel free to write a message on his wall or send him a card using the address available on his page. We hope Colin has an amazing birthday this year, and every year moving forward. With a family as loving and supportive as his, I’m sure he has some excellent years to come!
Image Credits: Facebook