Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or business, ensuring that everything runs well can be stressful. Traveling can be challenging – and it’s considerably more difficult when you have children – from packing and being at the airport on time to late-night car drives and eating on the road.
In a Love What Matters blog, one mother said: ‘Especially with little, overtired toddlers, people can be harsh and impatient.’ This is especially true in today’s fast-paced, impatient, and chaotic society, and it’s especially disappointing for parents who have to or want to take their children on an airline.
Unfortunately, when parents board a commercial plane with toddlers, most other passengers appear to avoid them like the plague. The one passenger who is ‘trapped” next to them will treat them with grudging civility (if not outright disrespect) for the duration of the journey.
One mother was concerned that her seatmate, a tall, ‘macho-looking’ male in his mid-20s, would respond in the same manner. However, the contrary was found to be true.
When a worried woman boarded Westjet Flight #1221 from Fort Lauderdale with her toddler son at 9:30 p.m., her anxieties of annoying fellow passengers were instantly dispelled by the wonderful man’s calm and compassionate approach toward a baby he didn’t even know.
This was this young boy’s second travel in his life, and because it was so late, his mother was concerned that he would be overtired and emotional. ‘Although my son is normally well behaved and peaceful,’ she writes to this stranger in an open letter on Facebook, ‘I was apprehensive and concerned about how these first departure and arrival flights would go for him.’
She goes on to thank him for giving her kid gum and candy during takeoff, for picking up his blanket every time he dropped it in his half-asleep state, for letting him rest his exhausted legs in his lap, for entertaining him, and for being a shining example of how people SHOULD act toward children.
‘Thank you for turning our flight into a lesson in empathy and compassion for others. An Anxious Mother writes, “That little child will grow into a man one day (hopefully like you), and he will get a lot more out of your simple acts than you realize.’
The nice stranger–identified as Ali Hyseni–finally received the letter after it went viral, to which he replied,
‘It was wonderful to meet such a kind family. Despite the fact that he is not visible in this photograph, the young boy’s grandfather should be the one receiving all of this praise. His gentleness and care with his grandson were admirable… “All of us should aspire to be like this man.’
This man’s actions demonstrate how a little kindness, patience, and understanding can go a long way in brightening someone’s day and making a bigger influence on the world.
Here’s the complete letter – enjoy! We took Westjet Flight #1221 from Fort Lauderdale at 9:30 p.m. (arriving in Toronto after midnight the day before) with a child who had only flown once before.
I was scared the instant I saw you (a huge, macho-looking guy in his late twenties) that you wouldn’t like it and would be put off by sitting next to a young child. I was entirely wrong, and I am grateful for it.
Due to turbulence, the seatbelt indicator remained on for the whole of our journey, which meant that instead of sitting on my or grandpa’s lap, he had to be strapped in alongside you.
I didn’t catch your name, but thank you very much for grabbing his blanket when he dropped it half asleep on several occasions. Thank you for making sure your cabin light was turned away from him when he eventually slept off.
Thank you for being nice and interacting with him even if you weren’t obliged to.do so. Thanks for giving him (and us) ear candy and gum. Thank you for allowing him to rest his tired legs and feet on your shoulders. Thank you also for offering to take down all of our overhead luggage so he wouldn’t be bothered.
Despite the fact that my son is normally well-behaved and quiet, I was worried about how his first departure and arrival flights would go. When it comes to small, overtired toddlers, people can be cruel and harsh.
Thank you for turning our flight into a lesson in understanding and compassion for others. That young boy will grow up to be a man (ideally like you), and he will benefit far more from your modest efforts than you think. If you choose to be a father, you will be a fantastic father.’
An Anxious Mother, and Love