“Not long ago, I was on a plane going . . . somewhere. There was a baby a few rows in front of me who had been sweet and agreeable for the first half-hour of the trip, but then something happened to his good mood. He couldn’t name what was wrong; all he could do was cry. And cry some more. I’m a grandmother. I couldn’t stop watching the little one and his mother—I saw her shift gradually from patience to frustration as the crying went on and on and her attempts to provide comfort were fruitless. The annoyed looks of the other passengers were no help.
When I saw that both mother and child were growing desperate, I went to their row. “I’m a grandma, “ I said to the mom. “Would you mind if I took the baby for a while?” She didn’t hesitate. She handed him over to me immediately and told me his name was Thomas.
I strolled up the aisle so she could see us and stood in the bulkhead swaying with Thomas who was intrigued into silence. We walked up and down, and swayed some more. He played with my glasses and the cross around my neck. My back eventually told me it was time to take Thomas back to his mother, where he remained quiet for the rest of the trip.
I reached out to someone—two someones—in distress and only realized later that this was a bold act of kindness.
This message was adapted from “Act Boldly with Kindness” written by Sue Gamelin that first appeared in the January/February 2006 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.