Mom pens sweet letter to stranger who taught her daughter to skateboard

Jeanean Thomas wrote a note to the stranger (later identified as Ryan Carney) who took the time to teach her 6-year-old daughter how to skateboard. (Jeanean Thomas)

Going to a skate park as a novice skateboarder can be an intimidating experience, especially for a 6-year-old girl and her mom. So Jeanean Thomas was especially touched when a stranger took the time to help her little girl with some pointers on how to ride. She penned a sweet letter to the young man that is resonating with skateboarders and parents.

"I want to let you know that I am proud that you are a part of my community, and I want to thank you for being kind to my daughter," Thomas wrote in an open letter addressed "Dear teenage boy at the skate park..."

She posted the letter to Twitter, where others began to share the message. Thomas set the scene by saying that when she and her daughter went to the Churchill Park in Cambridge, Ontario, on Oct. 10, her little girl was nervous.

"My daughter has been wanting to skateboard for months," she explained in the letter, "When we walked up to the skate park and saw it was full of teenage boys who were smoking and swearing she immediately wanted to turn around and go home."

Thomas encouraged her daughter to stay, she wrote, but was worried she'd have to employ her "mom voice" with the boys, especially when one approached her.

It turned out, though, the stranger wanted to give her daughter a few pointers.

"You proceeded to spend almost an hour with my daughter, showing her how to balance and steer, and she listened to you; a feat not attained by most adults!" Thomas recalled.

The stranger was later identified as 20-year-old Ryan Carney. He told the Cambridge Times that he helped the little girl because he could imagine what she might be going through.

"I went up there just simply to be nice," he said. "If I didn't know what the heck I was doing, and I was in a place that could be intimidating at that age, I'd want someone to help me."

While the simple act of kindness made an impact online, more importantly, Thomas wrote, it made an impact on her daughter.

"She left with a sense of pride," she wrote, "and with the confidence that she can do anything, because of you."

Photos used with permission.
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