RSS Feed

What Travelling With My Kid Has Taught Me About People

Posted on

I think of it as “anti-kid” behavior: the eye-rolls when our child speaks above a whisper at the grocery store, the exasperated sighs when we sit within four seats of a businessman at the airport. And sometimes it isn’t so subtle. A friend of mine was recently physically threatened by a man because he thought her children were being too loud. All I can do is shake my head. It’s one crazy world we live in.

And despite those not-so-friendly encounters, I can’t help but think about the kind, helpful people we’ve met along the way.


We were flying Southwest, which has an open seating policy. My daughter, husband, and I were among the first to board the plane, and chose three seats together toward the back. My daughter was 2-years-old at the time (in other words, perfect seat-kicking age.) We tried our best to prevent her from kicking the back of the seat in front of her, but it happened at least a couple times per flight despite our efforts.

A middle-aged woman sat in the seat right in front of our toddler, passing up numerous other seating options. I wondered why she chose that seat. She could have sat rows away, and people like her–adults travelling alone–usually sit as far from us as possible.

Sure enough, our child kicked the seat once, twice, three times during the two hour flight. We reminded her each time: “Do not kick the seat.” As we deboarded the plane, I apologized to our fellow traveller.

“Oh, don’t worry about it! That’s why I sat there. I figured it would be better for me to sit there instead of some grump.”

She said this without an ounce of judgement or sarcasm. A stranger inconvenienced herself in order to save us and another passenger from frustration.

Maybe people aren’t so bad afterall.

14 responses »

  1. What a lesson in kindness. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I have to say, we have met so many nice people when traveling! However, there have been a few really snarky flight attendants and you would think they would be the ones to be helpful! I love when fellow passengers tell you how great your child was during the flight – even if they weren’t fabulous! I love Southwest!! I wish we had the option to fly them more.

  3. That is such a great story! Heartwarming!

  4. What a great story about how we can still surprise each other from time to time. And, it helps restore our faith in our fellow humans. :)

  5. Very nice story! I like to believe that most people are kind – they just may not be as vocal as the grumpy ones.

  6. That’s so nice! I will have to remember to do that when in a really good mood when flying!

  7. Thank you for reading, everyone! Hope this story made you smile.

  8. Sarah, Steph told me about this post while we were out the other day and I couldn’t wait to get the chance to read it. She was right, I loved it. Flying with children has to be one of the most stressful things for me, not because of all that entails flying with children … but because I take upsetting others so very personally. It’s hard when you are doomed from the get go. Maybe next time my stomach is in knots I’ll think about your trip and this kind lady and not be such a wreck!

    • Stacy, thank you for the nice comment. I’m so flattered that Stephanie recommended the post to you! I hope you enjoyed it.

      Flying is stressful, but I try to remind myself that all I can do is try my best. There are times when kids cry or throw tantrums, and there’s just nothing you can do to make it right, no matter what you try. In moments like that, you just have to hope you’re sitting by understanding people and know that EVENTUALLY the flight will be over!

  9. Great story! We’ve met many wonderful people on planes and they have gone out of their way to help us out. I know the grumps get more press, but little acts of kindness like this are what SHOULD be getting out!

  10. Pingback: 11 Best Travel Stories of 2011 – World Tour of the Web

  11. We all could use a lesson in kindness, kids or no kids. Sometimes there are parents with an entitlement mentality that us non-parents get annoyed with. On the flip side, there are non-parents who act like kids are the worst thing ever. Mutual courtesy and respect goes a long way for both sides. When parents are respectful and have well-behaved kids it helps us non-parents be more willing to return the same courtesy. When it’s a blatant lack of courtesy because a parent thinks the world should cater to them or a non-parent thinks the same way, it’s frustrating.

  12. Pingback: 11 Best Travel Stories of 2011 – World Tour of the Web

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 108 other followers

%d bloggers like this: