The kindness of strangers

A first of 2 for this blog: 1. A pictureless post and 2. A post from Vancouver

My 2-hour flight to Vancouver on Tuesday was scheduled for 8:32 pm. It ended up being delayed by 30 minutes. Froo & Boo’s bedtimes are 8:00 pm and 7:30 pm, respectively. I was worried. More like terrified. What if both fell asleep?? But I survived. By the grace of God for providing the kindness of strangers. I am not usually the mushy type, but traveling alone with 2 kids has left me feeling a little vulnerable. This post is dedicated to the people who helped me on my journey and anyone who has ever helped a mother with little ones.

*****

Dearest German man,

I’m sorry if I’m mistaken and you are not German, but here is my letter to you. When we were in the security check line and I asked you if you wanted to go ahead of me, thank you for your smile and your refusal. Somehow, it was more considerate of you to refuse than for me to offer.

Thank you for waiting patiently and helping me with my carry-on bag. With a smile.

After passing through security, thank you for telling me that I have cute kids. It reminded me that my children are a blessing, not a burden. It was a great way for me to start my travels–with a positive perspective.

It may seem small and insignificant, but the way you have shown kindness has had a huge impact on me. It made me look forward to seeing the good in every moment that I share with Froo & Boo. It made me laugh hysterically when the pilot said “enjoy your flight” and Froo responded with a resounding “I will!!!”. Dankeschön.

With the warmest of warm fuzzies,

Irene

*****

Dearest Elizabeth,

Thank you for your kind smile. When you sat down next to us and I said, “you must have won the unlucky lottery for your seat”, your smile and your kind words reminded me that no lottery I could win would come close to how I feel about my kids. They are my world. It is a privilege that I am able to care for them as a mother.

When you looked after them while I went to use the restroom, I was so grateful that you were sitting next to me. Froo & Boo warmed up to you so quickly because you opened yourself up to them.

When I handed a half-sleeping Boo to you to take Froo to the restroom and he was screaming at the top of his lungs, thank you for making excuses for him, saying it must be hard to wake up in a strangers arms, instead of commenting on how loud he can be.

Thank you for helping me put my sweater on while Boo was in the ergo carrier. Thank you for helping Froo open her package of stickers and keeping her company while I was in the back of the plane rocking Boo back and forth in the ergo. Thank you for all the times you had to get out of your seat for me. With a smile.

Thank you for asking me if you could touch Boo’s hair and saying it was the most wonderful thing. His spiky little broccoli head is full of wonder and delight. Thank you for telling me that Froo is a bright girl–so good and sweet. I almost cried when I returned to my seat to find that Froo had made beautiful cards and wrote her name on the inside all by herself, with all the letters in their proper order.

Thank you for helping me pack up all of my stuff at the end of the flight. Thank you for asking me if I’d need help getting off the plane and making sure I’d be ok.

Most of all, thank you for saying I am a good mom. There are so many strangers out there who are quick to judge your parenting choices and tell you that you are doing something wrong. There are few who will commend you for the hard work you do. A million thanks.

With the deepest gratitude in my heart,

Irene

*****

Dearest Korean flight attendant,

First and foremost, thank you for your smiles. You had so many for Froo & Boo. Is it weird that you reminded me of my mom and I liked you even more?

Thank you so so so very much that you didn’t make me take Boo out of the ergo during the landing so I wouldn’t have to wake him up. You spared us a tremendous amount of grief. 

As we were leaving the plane, thank you for asking if I’d need help, discreetly (in Korean), just to make sure I was ok. That was very kind of you. The agent at the check-in counter who wouldn’t let my hubs escort us to the gate because I’m not disabled, could learn kindness from you. You went beyond the duties of your job. 감사합니다.

Forever and ever grateful,

Irene

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3 responses to “The kindness of strangers

  1. Jamie

    This is a lovely post!

  2. Lucinda

    Those are beautiful letters, and will make your life better just for writing them. What a blessing you and these people were to eachother!

  3. Thank you! I felt that I had to write this post because I can never repay the kindness that was shown to me.

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