This will give you all the feels: a six-year-old girl named Peyton in Ontario, Canada wanted to learn how to skateboard, but was nervous about going to her local skateboard park, as it was usually overrun with teenage boys. Big, scary teenage boys who are swearing, spitting, and smoking cigarettes. But that didn’t stop Peyton and her mother, Jeanean Thomas.
Tentatively, they went up to the skateboard park, and, as predicted, it was full of young men. Peyton was nervous and wanted to leave. Her mom reassured her, “Those boys don’t own the skate park.” But secretly, Jeanean wanted little Peyton to turn around too, since a skateboard park is a nerve-wracking place for a mom of a young girl.
Peyton made her way to a ramp, while the boys went whipping past. She started on the ramp.
One of the teenage boys said to Peyton. Jeanean readied herself to jump to her daughter’s defense from the oncoming ridicule. Then she is stopped.
“Your feet are wrong. Can I help you?”
The boy helped little Peyton for the better part of an hour, as she listened and followed with rapt attention. Her dream of becoming a skateboarder was coming true!
Jeanean was so moved by the gallant display in the most unexpected place that she took to Twitter to express her thanks. She described how he carefully and gently ensured that she stay safe on the equipment, even though he endured ridicule from his peers.
She ended her missive with this heartfelt thanks:
“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. She left with a sense of pride and with the confidence that she can do anything, because of you.”
The tweet has gone viral.
This young man’s act of kindness to a little girl at a skateboard park will have far-reaching ripples in her life– she now knows that strangers may be different, but they are not all scary. She (and we) also learned not to judge based on appearances: Spitting, swearing teenage boys can be just as nurturing and caring as anyone else. We hear many stories of testosterone-ravaged boys doing horrible things: it’s important to remember that there are good young men out there.