Flying with children is already stressful. Adults don’t like to fly in the first place, being cramped and confined next to strangers is already bad enough. Children often hate it a lot more. They can’t run around, their senses are overstimulated, and they become easily irritated. That’s why this mother was nervous when her wily toddler was seated next to a buff looking young man and was instantly worried that he would be upset at sitting next to a child.
We flew Westjet Flight #1221 from Fort Lauderdale at 9:30pm (arriving in Toronto past midnight yesterday) with a toddler whose only flight experience was the week prior.
The moment I saw you (a big, macho looking guy in probably your late twenties), I was worried that you wouldn’t take kindly to and would be offput by sitting beside a small child. I was completely wrong, and for that I am so grateful.
The seatbelt sign remained on for quite a good portion of our flight for turbulence, which meant instead of sitting and being comforted on mine or grandpa’s lap, he had to be belted in beside you instead.
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.
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.
Thank you for making our flight experience a lesson in compassion and empathy for others. 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. You will make a wonderful father some day if you so choose.”
An Anxious Mother”
People tend to forget that they were once children too. This man could have easily made the flight even worst for a stressed-out mother…but instead, he took it all in stride. Supporting one another is so much easier than cutting each other down. This mom hopes that he will see her letter and know just how much she appreciated his patience and understanding.
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