“It takes a village to raise a child.” We’ve all heard this expression, describing how people have the responsibility as a community to step up when needed and help other families and their children. But how many of us really put the words into action?
As Kesha Bernard found out recently, the numbers are often few. It was a familiar inconvenience: a baby crying on an airplane. She was shocked to see that people not only did not help the mother out, but some were openly hostile and judgmental.
Bernard decided to help, and it led to an extra special plane ride—as well as a viral Facebook post.
Bernard had boarded an early-morning flight from Seattle headed towards Denver. The plane was fully packed, but it was still a rare moment of alone time for the mom of two young kids, who was traveling by herself. Bernard writes that she loves her kids, but “sometimes you need a break from toddlers.”
However, she exactly didn’t get the break that she was expecting.
The sound of a baby’s crying filled the plane as they were waiting for takeoff.
Of course Bernard was unfazed, as she was used to the sound by now. She also understood that it was just a baby, and sometimes babies cry on airplanes.
But some other passengers were not so understanding.
“Everyone around me starts huffing and puffing and mumbling,” Bernard wrote.
The mother was trying to calm her crying baby, but then another disruption began. The woman’s other child, a three-year-old girl, was anxiously fussing with her seatbelt.
As this mother-of-three attempted to handle not one but two crying children, Bernard expected the passengers close to the mother would be sympathetic and offer to help. Instead, she was stunned by their inconsiderate responses.
She saw one woman was “holding her hands on her ears and making the ugliest faces at this mother.”
She overheard two men judging the woman’s disciplinary skills—Bernard shut them down by saying the woman was “probably afraid to do anything.”
But the worst was a passenger sitting in front of the family, who was complaining about the toddler kicking her seat—and even went as far as to reach over and grab the child’s leg. The mom confronted her, saying “She’s three, I can’t believe you just did that.” A flight attendant watched the argument go down but didn’t take any action.
After witnessing all of this, Bernard decided to go over and help the woman herself.
Bernard writes that the mother maintained an impressive composure throughout the whole ordeal (“[I] would have already been crying but she was doing so good,” she wrote), but when Bernard walked a few rows back to offer her help, she immediately handed the baby over, relieved.
Bernard returned to her seat with the stranger’s baby in her arms, and the baby almost immediately fell asleep.
Bernard not only did a huge favor easing the burden of a fellow mom (who presumably got to focus on handling the anxious toddler), but she also genuinely enjoyed holding this precious (and now peaceful) baby throughout the trip. She posted a photo of the baby’s feet laying in her lap.
Bernard’s story has gone viral, and plenty of women who have been in that mother’s shoes have expressed their gratitude.
Bernard hopes she’ll inspire others to help strangers in need.
“How we can ignore a human in distress beyond me. Please be kind. Please be considerate,” she wrote.
“Help one another…it makes everything easier. I promise you won’t die.”
And to her fellow passengers, she has some advice: “Grow up.”
“Complaining and mumbling [don’t] do a damn thing except make the person that needs help feel worse.”
Read Kesha’s full Facebook post here!