When Brinn Williams got a text message from her daughter's school director on April 6, 2022, she was not prepared for what was about to be shared.
"The minute her school texted, I was like, 'Oh no, Ruby is sick'," 33-year-old mom in central Nebraska tells TODAY.com.
As it turns out, Ruby's teacher was curious about a card the little girl brought to preschool.
"Ruby loves to draw and color and create cards for everyone," Williams says. "Last night, she asked if she could use some of my stationery. I have rainbow stationery so I was like 'Sure, of course, go ahead.'"
Williams says she had forgotten she had a box of cards out on her desk.
"She goes and does this almost every single night, so I had no reason to believe the card wasn’t going to look how it normally looks," Williams says. "I didn’t look it over before she put it in her backpack."
So when Williams got a text about the card, she was a little nervous.
"I think she was hoping I connected the dots myself," Williams says of the text.
The preschooler had, indeed, skipped the rainbow cards for something more colorful.
“A best friend you can have sex with,” the meant-for-adults card read on the outside. “How great is that?”
"I was like 'Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, I’m so embarrassed'," Williams says. "I see these things happen to other parents and I’m like 'Yeah, that doesn’t really happen.' And now I’m like 'Well, yep it does, because I’m seeing it firsthand right now.'"
The director of the school told Williams it made her laugh.
“Ruby was adamant she had asked permission to use it and the teacher was like, ‘Are we sure about that?’” Williams says. “I did confirm that Ruby asked permission, I just did not check her work.”
But it gets better.
"The director of the school program is my husband's boss' wife," Williams tells TODAY.com, adding her husband, Josh, was mortified. "I thought he was going to die."
Williams surmises what attracted her daughter to this particular card.
"She can’t read, but my guess is that she saw a card with a lot of blank area to draw her picture," Williams explains. "In the card she wrote 'I love you,' so she knows how to write some words."
To prevent any future artistic mishaps, Williams plans to make a special space for Ruby to create.
"I'm going to tell her, 'Hey, I'll show you the box of stationery you can pull from and that's the box you can use for cards,'" Williams says.
Eight months later in December 2022, Williams tells TODAY.com that since Ruby's story went viral, her daughter has started kindergarten.
"Making cards is still her favorite thing to do," Williams says. "Her kindergarten teacher probably gets one every single day. She can now spell and read, so I’m less worried."
Thankfully, the 5-year-old has plenty of supplies to choose from.
"After the story, we had a bunch of awesome companies reach out — lot of small businesses — and send us some cool gifts like stationery, markers, pens and things like that," Williams says.
But Williams tells TODAY.com she hasn't yet explained to Ruby all the details of her viral preschool greeting.
"I didn’t want to crush her spirit for making cards," Williams says. "The only thing I said to her was that people really loved her making cards. I didn’t feel like there was an opportunity for an age appropriate conversation...not until she's much older!"
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This story was originally published in April 2022 and has been updated.