Anyone who has endured a long flight with a tearful toddler will recognise the judgment, irritability and even abuse that fellow passengers can throw at you – it’s not helpful to anyone, and it can have a serious impact on a parent.
This was the case for one mum who shared the story of a memorable six-hour flight with her toddler, to the Love What Matters Facebook page.
With her husband having been recently deployed, and living almost 5,000 miles away from her closest family, this unnamed mum was only too relieved to be invited for a holiday with her parents.
The only thing concerning her was, she had to endure a six-hour flight with her toddler to get there; and, having previously experienced abuse regarding her toddler’s tears during a flight, she was very anxious about the journey ahead.
Of course, despite her best prepared plans, this mother’s fears became reality when her tot began to grow restless. And when the child reached ‘hysterical’ levels, she became truly panic-stricken.
It was at this point that a true hero stepped in to come to her aid, when the man sitting next to her did something truly wonderful.
“He told me with a smile, 'You're doing great, mom.' He then suggested I switch seats with my daughter so that he could sit next to her. I agreed. Then he pulled out his iPad to show her pictures of his grandchildren. He opened a game and showed her how to play it. He talked with me about his life and asked me about mine. He helped occupy my daughter and soothed her when she fussed. He was so patient and loving,” she recalled, in the post.
Not surprisingly, the six-hour flight whizzed by, and this mother is still to this day incredibly grateful for this man’s compassion and lack of judgment towards her.
“He gracefully sacrificed his time and energy to help a distressed mother and child. He was understanding. He made our flight, not just bearable, but pleasant. I often think of him all these years later. It was the kindness of a stranger that got us through that day and I will always be thankful for him,” she added.
What a stand-up guy. We can think of a lot of people who could learn an important lesson from him.