Jessica Rudeen had her hands full as she was boarding a plane with a 4-month-old and a 3-year-old in tow. She was traveling alone with her two children, but help from a stranger made their trip much more manageable.
She wrote on Facebook about the kind man who helped her, and the post has since been shared over 6,000 times and viewed by over 23,000 people online.
“My first flights with an infant and a toddler started out with a little panic when we boarded the plane. My 4 month old was screaming his head off because, due to a series of unexpected events, I was unable to nurse him before boarding the plane,” Rudeen wrote. “My 3 year old, who was excited before boarding the plane, lost her nerve and began screaming and kicking ‘I want to get off the plane! I don’t want to go!’ I honestly thought we’d get kicked off the plane.”
As they made their way to their seats, however, they found they were seated next to a man, Todd. Little did the mom know that this passenger was about to be a huge life-saver for her.
“I was desperately trying to calm the situation. This man reached for the baby and held him while I forced a seatbelt on Caroline, got her tablet and started her movie,” Rudeen wrote. “Once she was settled and relatively calmed, he distracted her so that I could feed Alexander.”
Once the kids were calm and quiet, Todd continued to entertain the 3-year-old girl for the remainder of the flight. He colored with her and talked with her the entire time.
Then, when it came time to exit the plane, the man walked with the family (hand-in-hand with his new toddler friend) to their gate.
He happened to be boarding the same connecting flight, too, and made sure he switched his seat so that he could sit next to them again.
Rudeen was amazed by the kindness that was shown by this stranger, but according to him, he was paying it forward:
“This guy, Todd, showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person,” she wrote. “His wife, he said, had a similar experience when their two boys were young and a stranger showed her the same kindness.”
The mom posted about this experience as a way to try to get in touch with Todd again, and apparently — by the power of the internet — it worked!
She updated the post writing, “I’ve been connected with his wife and hoping we can get together soon!”
Anyone who’s ever been in a similar situation knows firsthand that a little kindness can truly go a long way.
Here’s to hoping for more people like Todd! Wouldn’t that make traveling — and life, in general — so much easier?