Stiles Parish, 17, of San Antonio, picked up her 3-year-old brother, James, from school during a family emergency May 25, 2017. Instead of taking him home, she took him back to her own school with her so she could finish out her classes for the day.
Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A 17-year-old Texas girl who stepped up during a family emergency has earned praise from social media users across the globe after a tender photo of her with her baby brother went viral.
Candice Curry, of San Antonio, told ABC News that a family emergency kept her and her husband from being able to pick up 3-year-old James from his school on May 25. They called their teen daughter, Stiles Parish, and asked her to step in for them.
Curry said it was the first time they’d asked Stiles to pick up one of her younger siblings.
“I figured she had gone to get him, and (had) taken him home,” Curry told ABC News. “Later that day, I saw the picture on her Instagram and realized that she had taken him back to school.”
Stiles, who is studying to become a nurse, took James back to class with her. In the Instagram photo, which bore the caption, “Take your kid to school,” James is sleeping peacefully in his big sister’s arms as she listens to the day’s lesson.
“She told me that she didn’t want to be counted absent, and that she didn’t want to miss any work,” Curry said of her daughter. “She not only helped our family out, but returned to her responsibility at school.”
The teacher was unfazed by Stiles’ small guest, Curry said.
The mom, who said the photo “made (her) heart want to explode,” soon shared the image on her own Facebook page, where it received thousands of reactions and was shared across the social media platform.
“I'm not sure on the legalities here or what kind of rules were broken but I also just don't care,” Curry wrote in the Facebook post. “My sweet teenager helped her family out and returned to her other responsibility while snuggling her baby brother.
“I'm either the worst mom in the world or totally nailing it. Please don't tell me which one. Let me live in ignorant bliss while I stare at this picture.
“Life is short. These are the moments that make it so incredibly sweet.”
Curry told ABC News that the photo showed her that despite the 14-year age difference between the two siblings, they still have a close bond.
“The fact that he is sleeping so comfortably on her in the middle of a class full of teenagers tells me how much he trusts her,” Curry said. “As a mom, it makes me so thankful that they have this kind of relationship, and I pray it will always stay that way.”