Photos courtesy of MaryAnn Parisi (Facebook)
A Connecticut mother has gained national attention for the powerful message she shared on Facebook about the bullies who have been picking on her son.
MaryAnn Parisi has one simple message: respect others because you never know what they have been through. Her son, 11-year-old Michael, was born at just 26 weeks and spent the first three months of his life fighting to survive. His biological mother left him three months later and that’s when Parisi took on the role as his mommy.
“He has survived failure to thrive and numerous other health issues to become the strong, healthy boy he is. 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. To this day, his smile is the best thing ever,” she said on Facebook.
Parisi said there’s not one person Michael doesn’t like or love and that includes the bullies who tormented him on Monday when she shared her post on Facebook.
“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 he doesn't spill his food or chew weirdly anymore. So you won't pick on him.”
Parisi said the cold hearted kids have kicked Michael’s chair, called him stupid, ugly, brace face and "bucky beaver." They have told him to sit down and “shut up.”
“You don’t have to like him, but you do have to respect him,” she said.
Parisi said Michael forgives and forgets easily and there isn’t a judgmental bone in his body; however, being bullied still affects him.
“He is most definitely resilient, but he was definitely bothered. There were tears and sadness. While he is amazing in his resiliency, in the end, he is still a young boy with very hurt feelings,” Parisi told FOX 61 in Hartford Connecticut.
The mother said she strives to be more like her son daily.
Michael's Godmother commented on Parisi's post and shared how amazing Michael truly is.
"I've never seen another person keep his head up and move forward with the amount of roadblock he has had in his life! he is STRONGER than most of the people i know.. even myself! He deserves the world.. and one day he will have it! People who are like Michael, who put that type of love and happiness out there in the universe will get all that is good in life one day. I am LUCKY and GRATEFUL to be his godmother! Shame on the parents who do not know how to teach their children right from wrong" Maria Fusco said.