Human connections don’t have an age limit.
Writer and veteran Kevin Armentrout was at the airport with his daughter, Carter Jean, last week when she decided to approach some of the people in the waiting area. But this isn’t a parent-in-the-airport horror story. On the contrary.
As Kevin wrote on Facebook, they were waiting to board their plane, and his toddler “was being her usual inquisitive self wanting to meet and say ‘hi’ to everyone she could, until she walked up on this man.”
Rather than give the friendly little girl a perfunctory “hello,” the stranger stopped what he was doing and took the time to respond to Carter:
He reached out and asked if she wanted to sit with him. He pulled out his tablet and showed her how to draw with it, they watched cartoons together, and she offered him snacks.
And it wasn’t just for a moment, either. The man (whom Kevin later identified as “Joseph” from Oklahoma) spent 45 minutes sitting and playing with the toddler.
“I want her life to be filled with moments like this.”Kevin Armentrout wrote this about what happened to his daughter…
For Kevin, the image was profoundly moving. He wrote:
Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her.
What’s more, it gave the happy father the chance to hope that the division we hear about is only an illusion and that there’s room for moments of simple connection like this one:
In a country that is continuously fed that it’s so deeply divided by beliefs, I want her life to be filled with moments like this … not liberal or conservative republican or democrat, socialist or capitalist, just HUMAN.
It was a message that resonated deeply with others. Kevin’s post was shared thousands of times on Facebook and reposted by KTVU’s Frank Somerville.
“To me this is what it’s all about,” Somerville wrote. “We’re all pieces of the same puzzle. I hope some day we can all realize that.”
Somerville’s comments were echoed by others on Facebook who found Kevin’s words inspirational.
Joseph’s sister-in-law saw the post and wrote, “I’m not surprised! Joseph Pat Wright (my brother in law) is a Christian man who treats everyone as a friend. He’s a true blessing and your little girl is an Angel herself! She’ll have a friend forever in him.”
Kevin concluded with his own words of thanks to the man who took the time to sit and play with his daughter in a busy airport:
“[I]f this should happen to find you. Thank you for showing my daughter what kindness and compassion looks like. Continue to shine your light in the world.”