Every parent wants their child to have the best birthday possible—and it can be heartbreaking when things don’t go as planned.
That was the case for one mother who tried to throw a birthday party for her young son—but just when things seemed to be ending in disaster, the day took an unforgettable turn for the better.
With her son Brayden about to celebrate his third birthday, Terra Hubbard decided to throw him a Cars-themed birthday party, inviting local kids and parents. With a invitee list of almost 80 people, she was ready for a large turnout at her home.
But as the big day approached, the list dwindled—and Hubbard feared that it was because her son is autistic.
“I’d get, ‘Oh I can’t come. This just came up,'” she told CNN. “I know people run from autistic kids.”
Disappointed, Hubbard nearly called the whole thing off. But then, she got a knock on the door—but it wasn’t from an invited guest.
It was the police.
Hubbard didn’t know why they were there, but naturally feared for the worst. “They come up to my door, and you always think that’s bad,” she told KFOR.
She opened the door and saw Capt. Matt Hofer—who was acting on an anonymous tip.
“I heard there was a birthday party for Brayden today,” he told her.
It turns out, someone familiar with Hubbard’s party dilemma called the Yukon Police Department’s (non-emergency) phone number, reaching Lt. Curtis Lemmings. The department wasn’t sure how to respond to the news, so Capt. Hofer was sent to scope out the situation.
But at the door, he found the mother was thrilled to see the officer offering his support.
“It was more of a happy excitement,” Hubbard told CNN. “Joyful. Any positive word you can think of.”
“I can’t believe this is happening.”
Seeing how much it meant to Hubbard, and that her party was in serious need of guests, Hofer put out a message to the department, inviting any officer who was available to show up at the party. Luckily it was 2 pm, right when the night and day shifts were overlapping.
Nine officers showed up, including the entire evening shift.
“One after another, until the whole room was full of police,” Hofer said.
Not only was mom thrilled—the birthday boy seemed to have a great day as well.
Brayden has limited vocabulary and is known to be shy, but he seemed to open up to the police officers. By the end of the party, they were giving each other high-fives and fist bumps.
And the cars-loving toddler even got to sit in the front seat of a police car.
“To see them interact like that was truly, truly amazing,” Hubbard told CNN.
“Quite a number of police officers there interacted with Brayden and his mom,” said Cpt. Hofer told Inside Edition.
“It was a really special moment not only for them but for us as well.”
What at first seemed like a disastrous third birthday turned into an unforgettable afternoon for all involved.
“It was a great experience for everyone,” Lt. Lemmings told Inside Edition. “Any time we can make a positive impact on a family’s life or situation, all the guys and girl that work here don’t hesitate to do so.”
“They have done something that will be with me for the rest of my life,” Hubbard told CNN.