Why this mom’s letter to an anonymous skateboarder went viral
A mom’s letter to an anonymous skateboarder who helped her 6-year-old daughter at a skatepark has gone viral, and it’s giving us ALL the feels.
Jeanean Thomas told the Globe and Mail that her daughter, Peyton, recently brought up skateboarding, and Peyton’s thoughts on the subject completely surprised her mother. “One day she said, ‘I really wish that I could skateboard,’” Jenean explained. “And I said, ‘Well, why can’t you? My old skateboard’s in the basement. Go for it.’ And she went, ‘You have a skateboard?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, why is that weird?’ And she’s like, ‘I thought only boys skateboarded.’”
Being the awesome mom that she is, Jeanean didn’t want her daughter to feel like she needed to conform to gender stereotypes. If Peyton had a passion, Jenean wanted her to pursue it. So Jenean took her daughter to a local skatepark in their community of Cambridge, Ontario, skateboard in hand. When they got there, the park was filled with teen boys, and Peyton felt a little intimidated about being both the only girl and the youngest person at the park. TBH, we can understand. Trying new things is never easy, especially when you’re a young girl among older boys zipping around the park and grinding on rails like they’re the next Tony Hawk.
Peyton wanted to leave, but Jeanean encouraged her to stay. (Because again, awesome mom.) Then, something amazing happened. One of the boys at the park approached Peyton and gave her some tips. Despite some mocking from his friends, he spent an hour coaching the little girl and teaching her how to skate.
Aww. Our hearts are melting just thinking about this kind young man stepping up and helping Peyton conquer her fears. Jeanean was touched, too. So touched that she wrote an open letter to the skater and posted it to Twitter, where it promptly went viral.
In her letter, Jeanean thanks the skateboarder for holding Peyton’s hand, helping her get up when she fell down and giving her safety tips so she wouldn’t get hurt. She goes on to say, “I want you to know that I’m proud that you are part of my community, and I want to thank you for being kind to my daughter, even though your friends made fun of you for it. She left with a sense of pride and with the confidence that she can do anything, because of you.”
After the letter went viral, the local Cambridge newspaper actually tracked down the skater who helped Peyton at the park, twenty-year-old Ryan Carney. Ryan was surprised his actions had received so much attention. “The day of it,” he told the Cambridge Times, “I didn’t think much of it to be honest. I don’t really know why it’s a big deal. When you put a smile on someone else’s face, it’s infectious. If you do something nice for someone, something nice will happen to you.”
Way to skate it forward, Ryan.
[Images via Twitter.]