I saw the headline on CNN and thought it would be another cutesy-clever kid letter to Santa and damn it all if I wasn’t teared up by the end.
North Carolina mom Karen Suffern recently asked her 8-year-old fraternal twins, Ryan and Amber, to write down a list of things they want from Santa. Suffern, who works as a part-time administrative assistant for a home health care company, was trying to get a jump on budgeting for the holidays and never thought her son’s letter would reduce her to tears. It did. And it will probably get you blubbering too.
Here’s the letter:
“Dear Santa … I wanted a (remote control) car and helicopter, but I don’t want that anymor. Kid at school are still picking on Amber and its not fair because she doesn’t do anything to them and it makes me mad and I prayed that they will stop but god is bisy and needs your help. Is it against the rules to give a gift early? Can you ask Big Time Rush to come to Amber’s b-day party it will make her so happy? If you can’t get them to come just get her everything she asks for.
Thanks Santa, Love Ryan.
P.S. My mom throws the best bday partys you can come if you want.”
As you can imagine, the letter was both beautiful and tough to read. As Suffern tells CNN, “I try to build up my daughter’s self-esteem and tell her she is beautiful, but people say hurtful things to me, because I also have a weight problem, and that hurts me,” she said. “I can’t imagine what she goes through.”
Amber has never mentioned the teasing to her mom, but her brother sees it on a firsthand basis because they’re in the same class at Rocky Mount Preparatory.
Suffern shared the letter with friends, including Tony Posnanski. Posnanski, who has struggled with weight issues as well, was touched by the story. After sharing the story on his Facebook page all about losing and keeping off 200 pounds, Posnanski posted the story to CNN iReport, where it has received a lot of attention, including from people who want to help the Suffern family financially. The attention forced officials at Amber’s school to take notice as well. Rocky Mount Prep Charter School posted a statement on its website Monday.
“We are hyper-vigilant at Rocky Mount Prep to prevent, intervene and protect our scholars from instances such as this. Our teachers and staff have received training to recognize and address these types of behaviors, and we are proud of the way they respond. We are saddened that this has taken place within our school family, and we can assure all of our parents, scholars and community that we will continue to do everything possible to provide them with a positive and safe learning environment.”
In a way, Ryan’s letter to Santa worked. And it’s a lesson to all of us: don’t underestimate the value of believing.
Image used with permission from Tony Posnanski who you can find on Facebook.
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