I forget about these stories until Amanda tells me: “You should write about ______.” Then I’ll go: “Oh yeah, I forgot about that.”
Here is one of those stories:
The situation: We were flying from Minneapolis, MN to Spokane, WA on an evening direct flight and Sari was a baby; probably around 6-7 months-old.
Back story: We had seemingly done the right thing as parents and had not started or fostered the habit of Sari sleeping in bed with us. She did great sleeping by herself in her crib at night. In fact, that’s what she preferred. Sari’s bedtime was around 9pm (after the 3 naps she had during the day).
Back to the situation: The flight was @ 9pm and would last just under 3 hours.
The problem: There are no cribs on a plane! Sari sleeps great in a crib, but there were no places to lay Sari down comfortably, so she let EVERYONE on the airplane know that she wasn’t thrilled with this situation. Amanda and I were trying desperately to contain Sari and soothe her and appease her and help her… but there was nothing doing… Sari was having none of this sleeping in Mom or Dad’s arms or on our laps.
10 minutes. Screaming. 25 minutes. Still screaming. 45 minutes. Super embarrassed and more screaming.
This girls had some lungs. And in a long metal tube, cruising at 30,000 feet, with people who desperately want to sleep and a little reprieve, Sari was granting no one any such wishes.
I can’t tell you how desperate we were and how frustrated. We tried every trick in the book. The flight attendants tried. We all failed. We were all at a loss on how to help soothe this troubled little baby and her obvious discomfort (and everyone else’s!!).
1 hour. Still screaming. 1:15. Is this ever going to end?
Enter the Saint: About an hour and a half into the flight, I’ve got Sari in my arms at the rear of the plane. I’m rocking back and forth in continued desperation to soothe young Sari. But I’m stressed and frustrated to the hilt!
Sitting in the back row, all by herself, was an older woman. If it’s okay that I say this: she was plump and squishy. That’s how I remember her.
She looked at me with extreme pity, then raised her hands in a gesture that meant: “Here, give her to me.”
A couple of thoughts ran through my head in a split second:
- Is this lady crazy? I’m not giving her my child.
- I think my child is crazy.
- This lady doesn’t look crazy.
- She’s doesn’t look dangerous.
- She can’t take my child and run… we’re on a plane!
- Okay, this doesn’t sound like a bad idea after all
I handed Sari to this woman and sat down in the aisle seat (she was in the window seat). Sari propped herself on this woman’s chest on all fours and her eyes were locked on to mine as if to say: “What do you think you’re doing?” But she wasn’t crying!!
The woman was running her hand from her head to her bottom, over and over again. This saint looked over at me and said: “I’m a Grandma. And we don’t care what other people think!”
The resolution: Within minutes Sari’s eyes were closed and she FINALLY relaxed, as did everyone else on the plane. For the next hour, Sari slept on this wonderful angel God had sent our way, while I slept two seats away.
I wish I would have got her name or phone number or Twitter handle or something because she saved our sanity that night on the plane. We will never forget, though, the compassion this woman exhibited to a desperate young couple with a child that was so stressed and worked up.