As a sign of support for his grandmother, Debbie Catlett, in her battle with cancer, Payton Welch took what for many 11 year olds would have been a drastic step.
“He and his (Dirt Bags) ball team shaved their heads for the summer when she lost her hair,” said Jenni Welch, Payton’s mother. “He’s got the biggest heart. That was his idea.”
That is just one example of what makes Payton “a super neat kid,” according to his mother.
“He’s very active and entertaining. He just keeps us laughing the whole time,” said Jenni, noting her son loves playing football and baseball.
Payton, who has an older brother, Alex, 13, and two younger sisters, Sophie, 7; and Lily, 5, will be a focus of attention today as he celebrates his 12th birthday on 12.12.12.
“I think he was about 3 or 4 when we figured it out,” said Payton’s father, Joey, regarding his son’s unique birth date. “It didn’t seem significant at first thinking about it, but as it got closer it’s pretty neat. It’s pretty special.”
“I don’t know if he gets how cool it (turning 12 today) is, but we certainly do and we’re excited for him. It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty fun,” added Jenni.
Payton, a sixth grader at Holy Family School in Hannibal, is well aware of the significance that his birthday holds.
“It’s really awesome. I got really lucky to be born on that day,” he said. “It’s going to be 100 years until there’s another date like that, 4.4.4 or 12.12.12, or anything like that.”
According to Jenni, at Payton’s request, this year’s celebration will not feature a big gathering.
“He doesn’t want a huge party. We tried to have a big party, but he just wants to have a couple of friends,” she said.
Payton doesn’t consider the guest list restricted.
“We’re going to have a bigger party this year than normal, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “It will be mainly just friends.”
The birthday celebration will be focused in Quincy.
“We’re going to Scotties Skateland and Gem City Pizza,” said Payton.
Payton’s birthday wish list is not particularly long, according his mother.
“He got a cell phone, which was all he was wanting,” she said.
Page 2 of 2 - There is, however, something Payton would like to unwrap.
“There’s this really cool game that’s coming out - NW3. It’s a game you play on Xbox. All my friends have it. I just thought it would be really cool to have,” he said.