Any parent who’s ever boarded a plane with young kids knows what a struggle that flight can be. One mom-of-two, Jessica Rudeen, was so flustered she became convinced that her upset kids would get her kicked off a plane — until a kind stranger swooped in to save the day.
In an emotional Facebook post, Rudeen wrote, “My 4-month-old was screaming his head off because, due to a series of unexpected events, I was unable to nurse him before boarding the plane. My 3-year-old, who was excited before boarding the plane, lost her nerve and began screaming and kicking, ‘I want to get off the plane! I don’t want to go!'”
As Rudeen desperately tried to calm her two children down, she suddenly received a helping hand — or rather, two helping hands — from a man named Todd, who was seated by her. The thoughtful stranger not only held her baby while she struggled to put a seatbelt on her three-year-old, he also started a movie for the kids. That way, while the older child was distracted, Rudeen could finally feed her hungry four-month-old. By the time the plane was about to take off, the screaming had finally ceased — but Todd’s good deeds didn’t end there.
Rudeen continued, “During the flight, he colored and watched a movie with Caroline, he engaged in conversation, and showed her all the things outside. By the end of the flight, he was Caroline’s best friend.”
Incredibly enough, it turned out that her child’s new best friend was also on the family’s connecting flight. When he learned this, he actually switched seats so he would be able to help Rudeen and her kids with anything else they needed throughout the rest of their journey. And Rudeen could not have been more moved.
“This guy, Todd, showed me kindness and compassion that I’ve never known from another person,” she wrote. “His wife, he said, had a similar experience when their two boys were young and a stranger showed her the same kindness. I am blown away by God’s hand in this because we could have been placed next to anyone, but we were seated next to one of the nicest men I have ever met in my life.”
She detailed the experience in the post so she’d be able to reconnect with Todd again. Sure enough, that same day, Todd’s wife, Stacey Walker, heard about the viral post from “a friend who heard it from a friend of a friend,” as The Wichita Eagle reported. Thanks to the story being spread so widely and quickly, the two families are now able to plan to meet up again in person soon.
“I think it will be a lifelong connection,” Stacey Walker said. “They don’t feel like it was a coincidence. They think it was for a reason — they both have faith.”
It’s not every day you hear about such a great story happening on an airplane — let alone two airplanes. How beautiful!