Today we travel home from Mexico, just Mark and I. It’s one of many flights for us, both with Miller and without.
Standing in a slow moving check-in line, I see parents with small children swaying strollers and bouncing babes trying to keep them content. In watching them, and the reactions of strangers to their children, I’m observing a traveling truth:
Every single time I’ve flown, I’ve seen people in airports and on airplanes smiling at babies and toddlers. Looking over mommas’ shoulders to see into the stroller. Making peek-a-boo faces from ten feet away.
They’re happy to see your baby (not put-out, inconvenienced, annoyed, or disapproving, but happy). These interacting strangers are helping in their own way to bring happiness to the child.
Have we had complaints about Miller on planes? Yep. Two ever. Only two. Out of lots of flights. But admiring adults? Every. Single. Time.
For any parent flying with a small child, whether it’s their first flight or fortieth: Don’t worry about the grumps. Chances are they’d find something to gripe about even if they were upgraded to first class.
Two things to know about The Grumps:
1. It’s not you (or your kid) – it’s them.
2. They are the exception, not the rule.
The rule, the constant, the ever present, are the smilers. The baby admirers. The kid lovers. The folks who will do what they can to help, even if it’s by making funny faces you’ll never know about.
If you’re flying this holiday season, or considering flying with your child but are afraid of all of the airport what-ifs? Go for it.
Mr. Rogers has a well-known quote that says, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
If you’re flying with small children and become anxious, look for the smilers. You will always find people who are helping with their smiles.