Like so many parents across the U.S. do at this time of year, Philadelphia mom Bonnie Moran is more than happy to let her 3 sons enjoy the warmer spring temperatures, running and playing outdoors.
Though life isn't always easy for the mom — two of her sons have been diagnosed with autism, while she herself has spina bifida, a condition where spine doesn't develop properly — Moran says she keeps her head high and enjoys it all the same.
That positive attitude took a hit, however, when Moran found something tucked inside of her mailbox recently, the contents of which, as she tells WPVI, left her feeling sick to her stomach and “beyond angry” because of who it attacked.
What Moran found that day was an anonymous letter viciously targeting Ryan, her 3-year-old son:
"To the parent of the small child at this house,
The weather is getting nicer and like normal people I open my windows for fresh air. NOT to hear some BRAT screaming his head off as he flaps his hands like a bird. I don’t care if it’s the way you raised him or if he is retarded. But the screaming and [carrying] on needs to stop. No one wants to hear him acting like a wild animal it’s utterly nerve wracking, not to mention it's scaring my normal children.
By you just standing there talking to him don’t do anything. Besides you look like a moron as he walks all over you. Give him some old fashioned discipline a few times and he will behave. If that child needs fresh air…take him to the park not in out back or out front where other people are coming home from work, have a day off, or just relaxing.
No one needs to hear that high pitched voice for hours. Do something about that child!
One of your neighbors"
After reading the letter, Moran says she at first was stunned, then simply sat down and cried for hours.
She adds that it was the first time she'd heard any type of complaint from her neighbors, most of whom are supportive of Ryan.
Though she quickly threw the letter out, she explains that she chose to share the painful message on Facebook, not in order to stir up a hornet's nest, but to raise awareness:
"Try to educate yourself before you judge somebody. You never know what somebody is going through.
He’s not a brat...He’s just like anyone else, but he has issues. I’d invite them to come and meet him and spend time with him and see what a caring, loving, beautiful child he can be.”
Since the media has picked up her story, Moran has said that she has received an outpouring of support from her community, from words of encouragement to invitations for play dates.
This kind of reaction, Moran says, is “what neighborly is about.”