WAYNE COUNTY, Ind. – A mother in Wayne County is very grateful for an employee at a tree farm who went above and beyond to help her son with autism fulfill his wish of cutting down the perfect Christmas tree.
Julie Watt and her 6-year-old son Bentley visited Roehler’s Christmas Tree Farm on Monday evening. She intended for it to be a quick trip, but that wasn’t the case. “Well, as any parent of a child with autism will tell you, ‘plans-schmans,” Watt told FOX59.
When they arrived, all of the trees were set up inside of a barn, and they were fitted into tree stands. However, Bentley remembered actually cutting down a tree the previous year, and he wanted to do the same thing this year. He thought the trees in the barn were fake.
Watt said he became upset and refused to pick out any tree not currently growing in a field. It was already dark, cold, and muddy, so Watt decided they would have to leave and come back.
As they were getting ready to head home, Kevin Rose, an employee at the tree farm, tapped on her car window. He had a plan to help Bentley “chop down” a real tree.
Rose picked up a tree in the barn, carried it on his back through the muddy fields, and stood it alongside a row of trees. Then Watt and Bentley “just so happened” to find it in the field, and they fake cut down the tree. He then hauled it all the way back to their car. The tactic worked, and Bentley was very happy.
Watt says this is the third year in a row her family has purchased a tree from Roehler’s, and they will never go anywhere else.
Watt shared her experience on Facebook, and it quickly went viral. Rose later saw her Facebook post and said he had no idea Bentley had autism—he just wanted to make a child happy that night.
Watt tells FOX59 she can’t believe how quickly the story has spread. “I think every special needs family understands the extra stress during the holidays. Even though as parents we would do anything for our special kiddos, it’s so incredible to see a complete stranger go the extra mile to make our kids happy.”
Watt says Rose truly embodies the Christmas spirit. “Kevin reminds us all how we can affect each other’s lives every day, even in just how we treat each other.”
She says before they decorated the tree, they sawed off a little piece of it to turn into a special ornament for their future trees.