When my daughter was conceived, my son was a few months shy of his second birthday. “Things are going to get really crazy when that baby is born,” people kept telling me. A few months into the pregnancy, I realized that things already were, as I was forced to chase around a rambunctious toddler while attempting to “take it easy” at the instruction of my OB-GYN due to a mild complication.
Traveling on an airplane would have been a total nightmare during those months, so I opted to stick to road trips with my husband (even though my doctor strongly suggested against those, as well), but if I had been brave enough to fly the skies, I imagine they wouldn’t have been quite so friendly with my little monster in-tow.
I can only hope that my experience would have mirrored that of a mother who was flying from Minneapolis to Atlanta, whose story was shared on Love What Matters.
The pregnant mom was exhausted and her son was being difficult. Instead of just sitting there disgruntled or feeling sorry for the woman, a man on the plane took matters into his own hands.
“On a flight back to Georgia, this man, who was a stranger to this woman, offered to help her because she was pregnant and alone on the flight and her son was upset and fussy,” wrote Angela Byrd, the onlooker who shared the experience.
“He told her that he was a dad, and wanted to help her so she could rest.”
The man walked the aisle for almost the entire flight, “comforting this woman’s son as if he was his own.”
The onlooker was so moved by the experience that she cried.
“I was in tears…not because he was white and she was black…but because it showed me today that there are still GOOD people out there in a world full of turmoil,” she concluded.
Such a short and simple story filled with so much love.
Like this mother, I have been the recipient of random acts of kindness from strangers — in restaurants, on airplanes, at the dentist, and even at the social security office. Whether it has been offering to hold my crying baby so I can sneak in a few bites of food, or giving my toddler their shoulder to sleep on during a long flight, each of these situations has been a gentle reminder to me that it does, in fact, take a village and that little gestures can make a huge impact on a person’s life.
“If my daughter was traveling alone with her baby, I would want someone to help her out too,” a loving grandmother said to me when I was flying with my son. He was 7 months old, in desperate need of a nap but overstimulated from a day of traveling. She could tell I was exasperated and near tears, as my son was pawing at her and shrieking for attention. But instead of shooting me dirty looks and letting him ruin her trip, she put down her book and gave him all of her attention, until he was draped across both of our bodies, napping away.
Whether you are a mom or dad, grandparent, aunt or uncle, or was once a screaming baby or toddler yourself, step out of your comfort zone and help others who are going through a difficult time. One day it could be you or a loved one on the receiving end.