Flying can sometimes be stressful, especially if you travel with very young children who have different demands and who can easily get irritated and start crying for no particular reason.
Molly Schultz is a mom who had boarded a flight weighed down with sadness. She was too upset to be nervous about the flight, but instead grew incredibly agitated as her world unraveled around her.
Molly was on a last-minute flight back home to say goodbye to her father. His prognosis was dire and she had been summoned to his bedside.
She said a sorrowful goodbye to her daughters ages three and two whom she left at home. But she had to take along with her her seven-month-old identical twin daughters.
The trio had already flown from Washington state to Minnesota where they endured a lengthy layover. For the next leg of the flight, the girls were inconsolable.
Their tears prompted Molly to break down and cry herself. The emotional stress of her father’s impending passing and the arduous trip with crying wee ones became simply insurmountable.
“The strict schedule we typically follow at home was completely thrown out the window this day and my twins were not handling it well. Why would they though? They were only seven months old. They were feeding off my frantic energy and everything just exploded half way through this flight.”
Molly knew her fellow passengers were completely unimpressed at her daughters’ wails. She did what she could from her plane seat to console them.
“Everyone had every right to be annoyed. None of you knew that one of my twins cried all day long, every day. She was just one of those babies who was never comfortable or happy. I was accustomed to drowning out the sound of her screams and know I did so while we were all trapped in that airplane. In all honesty, I just wanted to stand in the aisle and yell, ‘If you’re sick of hearing this crying, then please come and help me!’”
Molly knew they were hungry and wanted to nurse, but didn’t know how to feed them without a nursing pillow, especially on a crowded flight. She had packed bottles filled with her milk, but at this point, she was beyond frazzled to even think straight.
A complete stranger walked straight up to Molly and the twins. The young mom was afraid of what the woman was about to say to her and she braced herself to be judged for her parenting skills.
Instead, this guardian angel plopped down next to Molly, grabbed ahold of one of the babies and began rocking her. The stranger stared straight into the baby’s eyes while she quieted her with a bottle of milk and some much needed cuddles.
Molly wrote to Love What Matters that “you stepped in as the tears fell from all three of our faces.” This woman gave Molly a much needed reprieve.
“You knew I needed you when I was too afraid to ask … You never once made me feel inadequate. Instead you showed me the most empathy I’ve ever been shown, and it was miraculously done in my darkest hour. You swayed and sang to her like any of her family would do back home, loving her the way she needed in that moment. Loving all of us in the way we needed in that moment.”
Molly couldn’t believe this kindhearted woman just knew she couldn’t handle this journey by herself. She described herself as “mentally broken” and emotionally exhausted.
“In hindsight I really wasn’t in a place to be taking care of those girls by myself, let alone flying across the country alone with them. But I couldn’t leave my exclusively breastfed babies at home when I had no idea how long I would be away. It felt like a lose-lose situation for all of us, but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do. Sometimes you just have to board that flight with your two babies and pray the eye rolls and sighs aren’t going to destroy your already low self-esteem.”
This mom of four credited the stranger with saving her sanity, and probably everyone else’s on the flight. Molly said she couldn’t walk around with a sign pinned to her that said,
“Flying alone with twins to say goodbye to my dying father while also leaving behind my other two daughters.”
But somehow, this woman just knew. Molly doesn’t know her face and can’t remember her name, but she’ll never forget the kindness and empathy she showed her during such a difficult time.
She wanted to thank the stranger for treating her with dignity and love when she desperately needed it. What a blessing she was to Molly!