Dear McCanless,

Tonight, as you explained a playground story to me, my heart broke.  You reminded me how hard it is to be a child sometimes.  You are so mature and so insightful, especially this past year when Mommy needed you to be so brave.  You are patient and giving.  You have humor and wit beyond your years, a beautiful smile and adorable freckles.

As you grabbed me and cried  like the 8-year-old that you are and that I sometimes forget you are, you explained how you “laughed with them” at school.  You did that because that’s what you do, my sweet girl, you love to make people laugh, even at your own expense.  You have so much of your mommy and daddy in you, it’s wonderfully amazing, and yet sometimes hard for me to consume.  I know the trials you will face.  I can almost see them coming.   I know how hard life will be for you sometimes and I know I can’t protect you from it all and my heart breaks for you.

Everyone has been teased.  I know that words hurt and I know that you don’t understand why some friends say things that cause tears.  I always tell you that what is in your head and what is in your heart is far more important than what others see on the outside.  You are confident and beautiful.  Please don’t let others tell you that you are not.

Differences make the world a better place.  How boring the world would be without all of the McCanlesses and Mary Clares in it.  You, McCanless, bring smiles to faces simply for being you.

Trials that you face even now make you a stronger person, a more tolerant, patient and graceful person.  You, my sweetheart, are a beautiful swan that will emerge gracefully inside and outside.  I love you more and more everyday and I can’t wait until I see the amazing, talented and understanding woman that I know you will be.

Although we have talked and I have said these words to you so many times before, what happened to you today will be what you remember.  It’s funny how one thousand kinds words can be spoken and lost; yet, those two or three words that were hurtful will be with you forever, remembered in vivid detail.

I’m so sorry you were hurt.  I’m so sorry to see you cry, but I do hope you remember what happened and how it made you feel.  I don’t want to erase what happened.  You will be a stronger person because of this, McCanless.

Life isn’t always easy.  It’s a constant journey that molds you into the person you were meant to be.

I love you dearly, my sweet McCanless.

Love, Mom


Judy Brown  on May 1st, 2012

Along with all your other attributes, you have shown us again what a wise, kind, wonderful and loving Mom you are. McCanless and Mary Clare are blessed beyond words to have you for a Mom, even or maybe especially during the tough times.

Counting down on the ONE hand and still praying….!

blogabooboo  on May 1st, 2012

Although my daughter hasn’t hit this stage yet, I know, just like we all do, that it will come. And my heart already breaks, just like it did reading this for your McCanless, who I haven’t even met. You said it to her, in this letter, in a way I pray that I can one day. Bless McCanless, surely she will learn from this and it’ll truly make her stronger, more kind, and more beautiful.

cici  on May 1st, 2012

Sweet McCandless,
I am so happy you told your Mom about what happened.
When I was young I was teased so much, I held it all in because I believed the mean comments were all the truth. I became very shy and even when people would tell me I was pretty I never believed them, I just had those mean words stuck in my head. I wish I could change all that now.
Whenever your Mom posts on her blog, I see your pictures and see a sweet beautiful girl, your personality shines through your smile and I don’t want you to ever lose that.
You remind me of my niece and I don’t want you to ever hurt.
{{{Hug for you}}}

andrea  on May 1st, 2012

McCanless.. you are such a beautiful, brave girl. I love that you can talk to you Mom about everything. We all get teased and it’s not fair. Keep your head up and know that you are one incredible little girl!!

Judy Brown  on May 1st, 2012

This blog brought back memories from school days that were painful for me, too. I remember coming home and going into my room and onto my bed where my Mother found me sobbing my heart out. Someone at school had called me Bucky Beaver and someone else called me Bugs Bunny because my front teeth were big and stuck out. I was devastated, and my Mother tried to comfort me. I thought she really didn’t understand, but she did, and all the wise, comforting words she said to me were true. The moral of this story is to listen to your Mom. She loves you and she has been where you are and she really knows how you feel. You are so talented and beautiful. Don’t let anyone take your confidence away from you!!! You are loved by so many people. Always remember that.

kate (favorite aunt)  on May 1st, 2012

McCanless, you are such an amazing person and i absolutely love you!! it makes me so happy to see how close you and your mother are! it is such a special bond! you know i am always here for you and you can always count on me!! lets plan a weekend trip to the beach, just you and me! (and maybe clare) we will have a blast!! you are beautiful and i love you, my sweet girl!

Terri Woodham  on May 1st, 2012

Cannie, you are my love…my special girl with the pretty smile and a tender heart to go with it. I don’t know what happened to you, but just remember…be proud and keep smiling even though your heart is hurting. You have so many that love you and we all have hugs to share! Remember you can tell your mommie anything, anytime!
I love you sooooo much!

Carrie Green  on May 3rd, 2012

McCanless is so blessed to have such a wonderful and awesome mom! She is so beautiful, strong, and brave. Hugs to her and to you.