When a new mom was flying from Fort Lauderdale to Toronto, she was nervous about how her toddler would deal with the nighttime flight. Her little one's only previous flight experience was the week before and it didn't ease her nerves when she saw who would be sitting next to her child during the journey.
"The moment I saw you (a big, macho-looking guy in probably your late 20s), I was worried that you wouldn't take kindly to and would be off put by sitting beside a small child," she shared on the Love What Matters Facebook page. "I was completely wrong, and for that I am so grateful."
Due to prolonged turbulence, the seat belt sign remained on for a large portion of their flight. "[This] meant that instead of sitting and being comforted on mine or grandpa's lap, he had to be belted in beside you instead," she wrote. "Although my son is generally well behaved and quiet, I was anxious and concerned about how these first departure and arrival flights would go for him. People can be unkind and impatient, especially with small, overtired children."
However, instead of getting irritated or ignoring the child, this stranger went out of his way to make sure that the little boy sitting next to him was having a happy flight.
I didn't get your name, but thank you so much for grabbing his blanket the numerous times he dropped it, half asleep. Thank you for making sure to point your cabin light away from him when he finally did fall asleep. Thank you for being kind and engaging him even though you weren't obligated to do so. Thank you for offering him (and us) candy and gum for his ears. Thank you for letting him rest his little tired legs and feet on you. And thank you for offering to get down all of our overhead luggage so he wouldn't be disturbed.
The anonymous mom wants the stranger who showed her unexpected understanding to know not only what a wonderful dad he'll make one day, but also what a great example he's already setting. "Thank you for making our flight experience a lesson in compassion and empathy for others," she wrote. "That little boy will grow into a man one day (hopefully like you) and he will get a lot more out of your simple actions than you realize."