The Short of It
A Connecticut mom writes a powerful Facebook post aimed at the classmates who bully her son.
MaryAnn Parisi suspected her 11-year-old son Michael was being bullied at school. And after receiving confirmation from one of his teachers, Parisi took to Facebook to write an awesome post that details her son's background and challenges other kids to think before they judge.
"This might be long winded. I apologize for that," her post begins. "We all have children in our lives in some way or another, I challenge you to show and teach your children (or the children in your lives) my son's story. Maybe knowing his background is the difference. Even the best children have moments of insecurity and weakness. Teaching and showing them why he (or anybody else) is different might be the more positive way. Sometimes knowing is learning and growing. Sometimes we all need a reminder, because we all can have our moments."
According to her post, Michael was born three months premature, at just 26 weeks. "He spent the first 3 months of his life fighting to survive. Shunts, blood transfusions, etc.... He didn't learn to talk till he was 3 years old. Walking was very delayed. He didn't have teeth till after his first birthday. He was so very behind. But he loved. Oh how he loved."
She went on to describe her son's smile as "the best thing ever," and said there's not one person he doesn't like or love, including those who tormented him.
"There is not one judgemental bone in his body," she wrote. "I strive to be more like him daily but fall very short. You called him brace face today, before you were picking on him because of his eating habits. Did you know he physically cannot control the food staying in his mouth. Or how very bad his hand/eye coordination is. Those braces are just one of the many steps he will endure, to help align his lower jaw that never fully developed.... So you won't pick on him. Kicking his chair, calling him stupid, ugly, brace face, bucky beaver. Telling him to sit down and shut up is not the way. You don't have to like him, but you do have to respect him. He's a fighter, that's a very small portion of his story. Share, teach, grow. Most importantly respect those around, you never know what they have been through."
Wow! Amazing words from an obviously amazing mom, who was able to turn a negative situation into a positive one by so beautifully putting her feelings into words. Parisi told Fox 61 she is both surprised and thankful her post has received so much attention in such a short time, and she hopes that her message makes a difference.
"My post is definitely getting the reaction I had hoped and then some," she said. "It is overwhelming, but necessary. Any form of bullying is not ok, if this helps in some small or large way, then it has done so much more than allowing an angry and hurt mom vent."