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My best Mother's Day present came from a stranger

By Letitia Rowlands|

My Mother's Day yesterday started out much like other years - an early rise to ferry my two boys to weekend sport, while grabbing a coffee on the run. The morning also featured sweet gifts and hugs and kisses from my sons.

But it wasn't until I checked my email just after lunch that I received my best Mother's Day present - one that brought a smile to my face, a tear to my eye and made me feel?like I might actually be getting something right amid the chaos and exhaustion of this thing called parenting.

It came in the form of an email from a stranger.

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An email from a stranger made my Mother's Day. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

At 13 years of age, my eldest son has his first paying job - refereeing junior soccer on Saturday mornings. The email that made my day came from the coach of one of the teams he had refereed for the previous morning. It was sent to the secretary of the local referees association, who forwarded it to me.?

"I just wanted to reach out and say how impressed I was with the cadet ref who officiated?my team's game," the coach wrote.

"He approached me as I was talking to a parent, excused himself and then politely asked for my card and match payment. His control of the game was well beyond that of someone just starting out and contributed to the highly enjoyable game of football played by both teams.

"A job well done!"?

It gave me faith we might be on the right path - for now at least

Parenting teenagers is hard. There are times when you feel like somebody stole the sweet child who lived in your house for the previous decade and replaced them with a stranger.

From time to time you will get glimpses of the child you remember, but you know not to get too complacent as it will only be a matter of time until the hormones take over again. Oh, how the hormones take over.??

But the truth is, parenting is a long game - not one that is won or lost in the confusion of those hormonal-fuelled teen years. And this stranger's email gave me faith that we might be on the right path - for now at least.??

I will be printing the kind stranger's message out and keeping it where I store letters and cards I have received from my boys. I might even pull it every now and then when I am in need of a boost after a particularly stressful day in the parenting trenches.

So if a teenager you come across as you go about your day impresses you and there is an opportunity to let it be known, please do so. I guarantee you will make their parents' day.?

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