Picking out and then cutting down the perfect Christmas tree at a tree farm is an experience you only have once a year, so when Bentley Watt learned his trip to the Christmas tree farm was to pick out a pre-cut tree and not a cut-your-own tree, he was upset.
Thankfully, with an employee’s quick-thinking and creativity, Bentley and his mother Julie Watt walked away from Roehler’s Tree Farm with a “real” tree.
Bentley is an “old soul” who has high-functioning autism.
Julie told The Star Press that her little boy has high-functioning autism and is very intelligent and extremely detail-oriented. So while she intended to visit a tree farm and make a quick purchase, her boy had something else in mind.
“Well, as any parent of a child with autism will tell you, ‘plans-schmans,'” she wrote in a Facebook post detailing her experience at Roehler’s Tree Farm in Centerville, Indiana.
Julie wanted to take Bentley to pick out a Christmas tree for their home.
When the two arrived at the tree farm they walked into the barn where there were dozens of pre-cut trees already fitted into a stand. Julie was perfectly happy to take one of the trees home, but Bentley was not.
Apparently, my son had a thought in his head that we were going to go ‘wander the fields admiring & comparing trees, then finally choose the premier tree to which a man with a saw would come teetering out of the woods and cut it down… Then we’d hoist it on our backs so heftily and march in from the field covered in sawdust and sweat, tying it to the top of our car with pride and driving home whilst singing carols…’
Bentley remembered how last year they cut down a tree and he thought they were going to do the same this year. Unfortunately, this year the situation was not right. Julie wrote that not only was it muddy and had started to rain, but she had a migraine.
Bentley was convinced that all the pre-cut Christmas trees were fake.
According to Julie, Bentley started to have a meltdown and believed that all of the pre-cut trees were not real. Some of the employees even cut bark off a tree to show the boy it was genuine, but Bentley still didn’t believe it.
At this point Julie accepted that she’d have to come back the following week—but as she and her son were leaving Kevin Rose, a part-time employee at the tree farm, approached her.
Rose asked if she had one of the pre-cut trees in mind and after she showed him one of the trees he got to work.
Rose placed a pre-cut tree in the field, then pretended to cut it down for Bentley.
He hauled the tree out into the muddy field, carefully hid its tree stand, and when Julie and her son happened to come across it, he pretended to cut it down.
“I can come up with something like that, because I have to (with my son’s autism) all the time,” Julie told the News-Examiner. “But I would never ask someone else to do that, because that’s a lot to ask. For him to be able to come up with something like that … and he had no idea he was autistic. He was just trying to help a kid get a tree.”
Julie praised Rose for his creativity and credited him with saving their Christmas.
Julie was stunned at the kindness and understanding that she experienced at Roehler’s Tree Farm. She detailed the story in a Facebook post, which she said she wrote in her car immediately after returning home.
As for Rose, he claimed he was doing “something normal,” but was “glad to help and make their Christmas.”
“It’s neat seeing their faces,” he told the News-Examiner. “Knowing now he has autism, it made it even more special. It’s been a good feeling.”