Kids and air travel are like oil & water- not only do they not mix, but most people don’t want them mixing anywhere near where they’re sitting on the plane.
It’s really stressful for parents to have to fly with young children, and it’s even more stressful for the passengers seated around them. Kids can be loud, messy, and high-maintenance. Most adults dread being seated next to other people’s kids on a flight.
But there are some awesome people out there in the world that embrace the experience.
One man’s Facebook post has gone viral after featuring a heartwarming picture of an adult couple that spent an entire flight entertaining a child that was flying alone.
Josh Haltom was on a Southwest flight from Indianapolis to Baltimore; due to Southwest Airline’s “open seating” policy, passengers pick where they want (and DON’T want) to sit on the flight.
There was a young girl on the flight- a child who was flying unaccompanied to visit her mother in Baltimore.
And no one seemed to want to be anywhere near her. According to Josh’s observations:
In fact many people avoided her and her boundless energy during boarding.
You can just imagine the eye-rolling that likely occurred, as adults scooted into any seats that were as far away from any youth & joy possible.
Finally, two adults took the pair of open seats located next to the young girl. Maybe by choice, maybe they were the only ones available; Josh didn’t say.
It was within minutes of takeoff that that the young did what comes naturally to young girls- she started talking.
Within minutes the young girl began chatting and the couple likely realized this wouldn’t be a relaxing flight
Even “cheap” airline tickets aren’t exactly cheap, & you couldn’t blame the couple for wanting to enjoy every moment of their flight in peace, quiet, & complimentary pretzels.
But the couple made a choice, one that sets them apart from the vast majority of tired, weary air travelers.
The girl continued to chat away, & as the reality of their young seatmate’s endless energy hit the couple,
they just rolled with it.
Now, there are a lot of ways to “roll with it” when seated next to a kid on a flight. You could silently endure it. You could throw a few silent “WHY ME??” pleas and heavy sighs out there to let your fellow passengers know that you definitely took one for the team here.
Or you could drink away the noise… preferably with an adult beverage.
If you had a chance to order a drink when the flight attendant arrived to take your order, that is.
Which this couple did not have, since the little girl quickly ordered for the row:
As drinks were being served the couple didn’t even get a chance to voice their requests because they were cutoff by the young girl stating “I’ll take water with a straw and so will they so we can paint!”.
Oh, boy… now we’re in for it. We’re going to be painting, people.
Instead of enjoying a nice cold drink propped on their tray table, the couple would now be doing some painting. Period.
But to the couples’ credit, they “rolled with it”.
The man & woman had the patience and compassion to know that this young girl needed attention. She needed someone to watch over her for the flight- someone to help her pass the time in the air that she otherwise would have spent alone.
We don’t know her situation, nor did Josh when he posted the story. We don’t know why she’s visiting her mother far away, or what her life is like.
The couple didn’t know these details, either- but the details didn’t matter. What they saw was a child that wanted to play, and they embraced the moment with her.
The couple readily sacrificed a quiet, convenient flight in order to love on someone else’s child.
And the fun didn’t end with painting; the young girl had come prepared:
the young girl had brought out her Hello Kitty paint sheets and the couple spent the next hour following her instructions.
What Josh observed was love in action. Patient, selfless love. In fact, VERY patient love, because if you’ve ever gotten a Bandaid or sticker caught on body hair, you know that sometimes love hurts:
As I type this the man next to her is being covered with Marvel stickers. They are on his ears, in his beard, arms, everywhere.
And he is just rolling with it.
It’s heartwarming to think of this couple treating a little girl with patience & compassion- the very way each one of us would hope our own child would be treated if circumstances forced him or her to have to fly solo.
There are still lots of good, patient people in the world, & we’re glad that Josh not only took notice of this amazing couple, but publicly commended them for it.
The fact that Josh’s post has 114K likes and 25K shares in less than one week proves that the world admires this kind of selfless love- especially for children.