Flying with antsy small children can be overwhelming— especially when one decides to have a screaming fit before boarding the plane. 

Jessica Rudeen from Little Rock, Arkansas, thought her first flight alone with her two small kids would be a nerve-racking experience until a kind stranger stepped in to help the frantic mom

Rudeen says she panicked when she didn’t have enough time to feed her 4-month-old Alexander before boarding her American Airlines trip from Arkansas to Wilmington, North Carolina with a layover in the Charlotte.

Minutes before take-off, her son began screaming, and shortly after her 3-year-old daughter Caroline, who was once excited about the trip, threw a temper tantrum.

The mom wrote on Facebook:

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!’ I honestly thought we’d get kicked off the plane.

Rudeen said she desperately tried calming her children down, but the two kids were “losing their minds.”

That’s when the passenger seated next to her family stepped in to help the mom.

She explained:

This man reached for the baby and held him while I forced a seatbelt on Caroline, got her tablet and started her movie. Once she was settled and relatively calmed, he distracted her so that I could feed Alexander.

The man kept her daughter busy until the plane landed in Charlotte. 

Rudeen wrote: 

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. I’m not sure if he caught the kiss she landed on his shoulder while they were looking out the window. 

She added:

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.

The stranger was also traveling to Wilmington, so was able to assist her family on the second flight.

He told Rudeen the incident with her restless children reminded him of his wife, who once needed a stranger to step in and help with their two boys. 

Once on the next plane, the man changed his seat so he could sit with the family.

Following the flight, overwhelmed by the passenger’s kindness, Rudeen wanted to find him on Facebook.

However, all she knew was that his name is Todd, he lived in Lenexa, Kansas, and one of his sons attended University of Arkansas.

She asked her friends to share the post, it was shared over 7,000 times. 

In an recent update, Rudeen reports she found Todd and got in touch with his wife.

The families hope to reconnect soon.  

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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