Traveling man
Thursday December 17th 2009, 6:50 pm
Filed under: Family,Life

(Ed. to add: I wrote this for every young mom who gets told–and it happens to all of us–that just watch out, her kids will be horrible when they’re teenagers. I’m here to say that even though mine have all left the teenager stage, that teenagers actually are wonderful and interesting people to have around and they only get better with each year that passes.  And that message, I like to think, is what this mom was seeing: looking at John and his interactions with them and then me and seeing the future progression of her own son and daughter.)

At the airport, there was a young mom also waiting for her luggage to appear who was holding a very tired-looking 15-or so-month-old.  I opened my purse and, with a few words, handed her a bright pink handknit flamingo fingerpuppet, her three-year-old clinging to her leg and her hands full, with me hoping one more thing wouldn’t be too much to hold; the little one didn’t look at all in a mood to reach out towards a stranger for it.

The mom’s face totally lit up.

Turns out John had been sitting by them on the plane. The kids had been tired and crying off and on, but he could sympathize with their wanting to be home and in bed and not understanding why they couldn’t be. They were absolutely adorable little ones. End of story. So he told her they were and made a friend for life on the spot.

I did not know at the time why she smiled at me and then at my son as she looked at that flamingo in her hand, affirming–I had utterly no idea yet what.

But her kids were absolutely adorable.

17 Comments so far
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I hope I get to meet your John someday, he sounds like a treat to spend time with :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 12.17.09 @ 8:54 pm

You are such a sweetie, you know that don’t you?

Comment by LDSVenus 12.17.09 @ 9:17 pm

But it takes time, effort, love and a moral compass to raise them right. Even so, there is the occasional stray.
And we all know where John learned……

Comment by Holly 12.18.09 @ 1:38 am

That son of yours deserves a finger puppet, too! (for good behavior)

Comment by LynnM 12.18.09 @ 5:14 am

The apple just don’t fall far from the tree!
Here’s to good parenting and good kids and good-ness everywhere! *clink*
Congrats on a job well-done! 🙂

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 12.18.09 @ 6:10 am

If you’ll pardon the analogy, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. 😉

It is my humble belief that if more people could take time to put themselves in the other person’s shoe before judging, complaining or getting angry, we would all be happier people – most of the time.

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 12.18.09 @ 6:41 am

I remember flying across country with twin toddlers. They were good girls, not really fussy, but extremely active as only toddlers can be! The family in front of us, mom, dad, three brothers, teenage, preteen, younger got together in a huddle whispering. Oh boy, I thought, the girls are bothering them. Then the mom turned around and told us how the family was traveling across country to pick up their new adopted daughter and the boys were wondering if they could “practice” playing with our girls?? Well, of course! Spread the wealth! Those boys keep the girls entertained from Las Vegas to Philladelphia. The boys were exhausted, the girls were played out, we got a break. Who ever that little girl was, she was going into a great family.

Comment by afton 12.18.09 @ 6:47 am

I totally agree with you about teenagers — they are interesting, bright, challenging — and maybe its the “challenging” part that folks are afraid of!

My personal relationship with my mother when I was a teen was awful — but somehow that was not the case with my daughter and I — she tells people now that I’m one of her best friends — I worked myself out of a parenting job and into a life long friendship

perhaps part of that was my remembering how awful being a teen could be, and the sweet spirit my daughter brought with her

now days I tell her “I hope you have a child just like you” and it’s a blessing, not a curse

Comment by Bev 12.18.09 @ 9:39 am

Suzanne is right (as are the others) — the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. There’s another saying that I almost remember that certainly applies to both you and John, (and, I expect, to the rest of your family) — the one about “… random acts of kindness…”

Fun –

“Give me a sentence about a public servant,” said a teacher. The small boy wrote: “The fireman came down the ladder pregnant.” The teacher asked, “Do you know what pregnant means?” Sure,” said the young boy confidently. “It means carrying a child.”

Comment by Don Meyer 12.18.09 @ 10:28 am

Sweet – you, John, the babes…

Comment by Channon 12.18.09 @ 10:42 am

Yeah! I’m so glad your son is home before Christmas.

Comment by LisaK 12.18.09 @ 11:36 am

You are such a sweetheart it is so hard to fly with little ones your pretty sure everyone is glaring at you and you feel helpless.
Next time we travel I’m going to knit up some finger puppets to pull out during a tired moment
I just knit up a wee bat finger puppet and sent it to the UK for my friends 5 year old she loves it and now my 2 are wanting one but I have been knitting them dolls for Christmas they will be sure to love:)Hugs Darcy

Comment by Darcy 12.18.09 @ 3:48 pm

Love it. I love meeting kids on the plane- their stories are always interesting. Wish I had finger puppets with me, something to work on!

Comment by Carrie 12.18.09 @ 4:05 pm

Nice son, nice mom. There’s no mystery here!!!

Comment by Karen 12.18.09 @ 5:31 pm

100% agree – teenagers are fascinating and fun. Completely worth the effort.

Comment by twinsetellen 12.18.09 @ 10:15 pm

It’s so nice to hear some positive words about teenagers! My son just turned 13 and, although he’s no saint, things are more fun around here when he’s home than when he’s not. My daughter is a few years further away from teenagerhood, and I have a generally higher level of conflict with her than I do with my son, but I’m clinging to the thought that this means we’ll have lots of practice dealing with our conflicts by the time she hits her teens.

Comment by Virginia 12.19.09 @ 9:44 am

I work in a clothing store, and in the fitting room there’s a low bench with a plastic dog on it, clearly intended for children. Kids are always running in to sit on the bench and pet the dog.

A few weeks ago, it was two kids together–a little girl who informed me that she had been six but had just turned seven and her younger brother, who had been three and was now four. They were charming, and I was happy to talk with them for a bit. A little later as I was leaving the store, I passed by the kids and their mom, who was clearly on her last nerve. I paused to tell her that her children were delightful.

“MY kids?” she said, in disbelief. “I’ve never had anyone say that before!”

I told her that I thought mothers didn’t hear it enough.

‘S truth.

Comment by Lanafactrix 12.19.09 @ 2:30 pm

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