Jessica Rudeen, from the US, said the man called Todd showed her “kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person”, when he came to her aid during one of her first ever flights alone with her two kids.
Rudeen had been feeling slightly panicked because her baby, Alexander, was screaming and her toddler Caroline, was having a wobble, too, when they boarded the plane. But then Todd offered to hold Alexander, while Rudeen was trying to calm Caroline as they got into their seats.
“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 on Facebook. “Once she was settled and relatively calmed, he distracted her so that I could feed Alexander. During the flight, he coloured and watched a movie with Caroline, he engaged in conversation and showed her all the things outside.”
Rudeen said by the end of the flight, Todd 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,” the mum added.
They had the same connecting flight, so Rudeen said Todd helped them get off the plane and walked with them to their next flight with Caroline in hand. He changed his seat on the next flight to sit on their row so he could continue to entertain the kids.
“This guy, Todd, showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person,” Rudeen wrote. “His wife, he said, had a similar experience when their two boys were young and a stranger showed her the same kindness.”
The mum said her goodbyes after they landed at their final destination, but realised shortly after that she wanted to find Todd again to thank him, after he showed her so much kindness. Her Facebook appeal post was shared nearly 5,000 times and she later updated it explaining she had been connected with Todd’s wife and was arranging to meet up with him.
People commenting were amazed by Todd’s kindness, with one writing: “How absolutely refreshing to read such a beautiful story like this.”
Another wrote: “Awesome. Love how he is paying forward. We all should follow such an awesome example in life.”
Parents are often overwhelmed when strangers show kindness to them on flights, knowing only to well what a struggle it can be. Back in November 2016, a mum thanked two strangers who helped her: One who moved seats so her family could sit together and another who held her toddler so she could sit on her lap and look out the window. “It’s so nice to have good people still in the world,” the mum wrote.