The Viral Back to School Shirt That Touched Thousands of Hearts

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Back to School Shirt
Carina Cansino/Twitter

With millions of children return to class this month, it’s officially back to school season! Parents everywhere are dropping kids off and snapping photos. However, one Texas mom outdid everyone with her inspiring, heartfelt gift for her 5-year-old son!

The Most Amazing Back To School Gift

Carina Cansino Child Grades Shirt
Carina Cansino/Twitter

Going back to school can be an emotional day, not just for kids, but for parents, too. They take so much joy in watching their children grow up and become their own person, as they should. So, many parents look for ways to capture moments like the first day of school, not just for themselves but their children as well.

Carina Cansino is one of those parents. She’s 21 and living in Dallas, Texas, working as a project coordinator a telecommunications company. However, most importantly to her, she’s a single mother to 5-year-old Gus Rodriguez. Before Gus started preschool last year, Cansino decided to create something that would always remind her son of his incredible accomplishments.

So, when Gus started preschool last year, Cansion gave him the amazing gift she made her son. The single mom custom-made an extra-large shirt for her son, which he will symbolically and literally grow into. The front says “Class of 2032,” the year he will graduate high school, and the back has his name. Beneath his name, Cansion listed all the grades from preschool to senior year of high school. Then, underneath each class is a place for Gus’ handprint, which he’ll stamp at the beginning of each school year! Admittedly, Gus won’t be able to fully appreciate the shirt until he’s older. Online users, however, loved Cansion’s idea…

One Handprint At A Time

Back to School Shirt
Carina Cansino/Twitter

Cansino shared in an interview with Today Parents that a picture on Pinterest inspired her to create the back to school shirt. “I saw the parents just do the year, so when I decided to do it, I wanted to add something so my son could partake in it and enjoy it just as much as I do.”

Cansino then thought up of the brilliant idea of making the shirt last through all of his years in school: “Why don’t we do a handprint for every year and then we can see it get bigger as he gets older?”

Cansino said she started crying when Gus began preschool and added his first handprint. As the school year started, it was time for the second handprint, and Cansino also shared a picture of Gus and his shirt on Twitter. The post took off quickly, touching so many people, and becoming a viral sensation overnight. Users like the post over 200,000 times and retweeted over 30,000 times!

Going Viral

Carina Cansino Child Grades Shirt
Carina Cansino/Twitter

In a later Twitter post, the Texan mom shared the overwhelming experience of going viral. Besides gaining over 13,000 new followers, Cansion wrote that she loved that she made people feel like they were a part of Gus’ journey. “There are people everywhere telling me they’re following because they want to see Gus grow up. They feel like they have adopted him in some way.”

Gus has an incredible role model for a mother; besides working full time, she also goes to school at night. Cansino is working on her associate’s degree in psychology at North Lake Community College. She’s hoping to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the future.

Cansino said her earlier years with Gus were not the easiest. “I was a teen mom, and I just wanted to share my story with people. As a young mother, I did what I did so I could to give my son the best. Even though it may be hard, I was still able to create something sentimental for him and us.” Cansino describes Gus as a sweet boy, who copies his mother’s maternal love and pays it forward. She says he even “consoles me when I get upset, telling me, ‘Everything is gonna be OK.'”