Travelling with children can be quite difficult and flight journeys tend to be particularly tiresome. Jessica Rudeen, a 34-year-old mom from Bentonville, Arkansas, US, learnt this the hard way. She was flying with her children on an American Airlines flight while going to Wilmington, North Carolina, when her infant and toddler panicked after boarding the flight.
“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. My 3 year old, who was excited before boarding the plane, lost her nerve and began screaming and kicking,” she wrote. With two kids, Rudeen was self-confessedly unable to deal with the situation and at one point, thought they would have to get off the plane.
To her surprise, a man named Todd lent her a helping hand. Not only did he distract the kids but also calmed them down and engaged in a conversation with them. In case you are wondering how he was so empathetic, he had his reasons. “His wife, he said, had a similar experience when their two boys were young and a stranger showed her the same kindness,” she wrote. “I am blown away by God’s hand in this because we could have been placed next to anyone, but we were seated next to one of the nicest men I have ever met in my life,” she added.
The incident occured on April 10 and was shared on April 14. Soon, it went viral and such is the power of social media that she later even got in touch with his wife. Speaking to indianexpress.com, she said, “I was connected with his wife on Facebook and we’ve been able to talk on the phone a couple of times and FaceTime as well.”
“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. 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. So with two kids losing their minds, 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. Once she was settled and relatively calmed, he distracted her so that I could feed Alexander. Finally, while we were taxiing, the back of the plane no longer had screams. During the flight, he colored and watched a movie with Caroline, he engaged in conversation and showed her all the things outside. By the end of the flight, he was Caroline’s best friend. I’m not sure if he caught the kiss she landed on his shoulder while they were looking out the window.
Amazingly, we had the same connection in Charlotte to Wilmington, a connection he navigates frequently for work. He helped us get off the plane and led us to the next gate with Caroline in hand. If that wasn’t enough, he changed his seat on the next flight to sit in our row to help us. This guy, Todd, showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person. His wife, he said, had a similar experience when their two boys were young and a stranger showed her the same kindness. I am blown away by God’s hand in this because we could have been placed next to anyone, but we were seated next to one of the nicest men I have ever met in my life.
I’d like to find him. His name is Todd. He has a son at the University of Arkansas and he lives in Lenexa, KS.
If you could help share this post so that I can find him, I’d really appreciate your help!
*** Update! I’ve been connected with his wife and hoping we can get together soon.”
Have you ever had such an experience? Tell us in the comments below.