As the old saying goes, you should never judge a book by its cover. A Canadian mother was reminded of this during a recent trip to a skate park with her daughter, and she couldn’t have been more appreciative.
According to ABC News, Jeanean Thomas brought her six-year-old daughter, Peyton, to a local skate park after the young girl spent months begging her mother to let her try skateboarding.
Thomas was hesitant to bring her daughter to a skate park because of their reputation for being filled with rambunctious teenage boys. When they arrived to the park, her fears were confirmed — or so she thought.
A teen broke away from his group of friends when he saw Peyton struggling to stand on her skateboard. For almost an hour, Thomas watched as the teen gave her daughter tips, helping her up every time she fell to the ground.
The mother was overwhelmed by the teen’s eagerness to help her daughter. She took to Twitter to post a lengthy letter thanking the boy for his remarkable kindness, and her tweet went viral almost immediately.
“I actually had to convince her that skateboarding wasn’t for just for boys. So when we walked up to the skate park and saw that it was full of teenaged boys who were smoking and swearing she immediately wanted to turn around and go home,” Thomas wrote.
“You held her hand and helped her get up when she fell down and I even heard you tell her to stay away from the rails so that she wouldn’t get hurt,” the mother continued in her letter.
“I want you to know that I am 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.”
Learning how to skate can be extremely difficult, but it’s even harder without the support of a veteran. About 61% of skateboarders have been riding between one and four years, and Thomas was worried that her daughter would be intimidated by how experienced the boys were.
“[My daughter] left the skate park with a sense of pride and with the confidence that she can do anything, because of you,” she wrote.
According to local Ontario news affiliate Q13 Fox, the Cambridge Times quickly caught wind of the viral letter and published it themselves. Commenters on the article were quick to point out how this is a classic case of stereotypes being disproven.
“Awesome,” wrote one commenter named Wayne. “Thanks for showing stereotypes are never right. And teenage boys emulate the adults they see. Doesn’t make them bad, just means they hate being told do as I say, not as I do.”
Thomas’s Twitter post has been retweeted over 14,300 times and counting. The owner of a local skate shop recognized the skater and gave Thomas his contact information, but they have not yet connected.
Peyton has already informed her mom that she wants to go back to the skate park this weekend.