Witness

Monday evening I was in the Atlanta airport waiting to board my 10:35 p.m. flight to Panama City Beach. I’d been in Port Byron, Illinois, since Thursday visiting my daughter and her family. I was tired and knowing that even after I landed in Panama City Beach I still had a two hour drive to reach home was making me a little cranky.

As I sat at the gate I watched a frazzled mom trying to corral two young children, a girl who looked to be four, and her younger brother. The mom was at her breaking point. The little boy kept dashing away from her while his sister wasn’t much better. The girl child wasn’t running around, but she was noisy and annoying. Selfishly my thought was, “Please, oh, please don’t let this family be seated near me!”

The mom’s last nerve frayed past the breaking point when the little boy laughed at her attempts to get him to sit still. She lashed out and spanked him, and when that didn’t work, she spanked him again. He continued laughing.

I made eye contact with a woman seated near me, but while I remained frozen, she went to the mom and patted her on the shoulder then began to speak with the little boy to take some of the pressure off of the mom. It worked beautifully. The kids calmed down, and the mom relaxed.

After the gate attendant called for pre-boarding the mom and her children left to board the plane. I made a point of thanking the woman who’d gone to their rescue when she returned to her seat. What a wonderful gift she’d given to that mom.

When my group was called I got into line and was about to scan my boarding pass when I realized the gate I’d been waiting at was 27, the one for Nashville, Tennessee! I’d been so engrossed by the drama that I almost missed my own flight at gate 29. Thankfully, I made it on time. But also thankfully, I was fortunate enough to watch a beautiful act of compassion. I was in the wrong place at the right time.

Peace, people.

(Note: I had a photo of the mom, her children, and their compassionate helper, but even though none of them were facing the camera I didn’t feel it was appropriate to share on here. I found the photo below on Pinterest in an article about a group of women who rallied around a mother under similar circumstances.)

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

16 thoughts on “Witness”

  1. I always feel like I would like to approach and help out the mom in situations like this but unless I have a kid with me, particularly my younger female child, I feel out of place. Some parents appreciate knowing that others have been there in that same place, others take offense. It’s tricky. Most of us don’t judge but it may be perceived that way…

    I totally get it though…

    If my daughter is with me, sometimes we try to ‘play’ by catching the wayward child’s attention. It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes it does. My kid has a gift in that sense, especially with younger children, and when a kid approaches a kid, it’s not weird or psychopathic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Parents are human, and kids can be trying, so everyone is quick to blame the parents, but yeah…once my daughter and I were in a very long line at the drug store, and the little baby in front if us was crying. The mom was getting flustered and people were eyeing her, and I said to my daughter…”don’t you love cute little baby feet? They’re so chunky and soft and babies have the cutest toes. I used to love playing this little piggy with you” as I talked about this kids adorable feet, the mom started to relax a little, and the baby slowed down it’s crying. The people watching often make the mom more anxious then the kids behavior. When the mom realized I was an ally of sorts, she was able to breathe normally.

    Liked by 1 person

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