say grace.

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One of my personal nightmare scenarios involves flying with a kid who won’t stop crying. Especially if it’s my own kid, though flying with other people’s crying kids is definitely not my favorite.

There were two crying babies on my flight on Saturday, as well as a diaper that needed changing. Thankfully, my kid was not flying with me; watching those parents was stressful enough without being one of them. I feel certain that no matter how bothersome I found the situation, the parents of the crying children felt the same way, only multiplied by the number of people on the plane.

My Aunt Nancy–Atticus’s Nana– once told me a story of how she carried a fussy baby up and down the aisles of a restaurant so that his parents could eat in peace. She didn’t know the family, but she did that for them because someone had done it for her once and she always remembered it. I have tried to adopt this policy myself, to pay forward the kindnesses I have been given. I have even been taken up on it a few times. I still don’t think of myself as a baby person, but I do want to be one of the helpers in those situations. What else is there to do, really, but try to help? To be grace to people who might need it?

On Saturday, there was a lot of irritation with those families with crying babies, but there was also the woman who entertained the four-year-old so his dad could calm his little sister. There was the man who offered to get trucks out of his suitcase for the kids to play with (his son put them there before he left). I offered my iPad and my lap. The harried dad didn’t take me up on it, but a few minutes later, he turned back around and said, “That was a really gracious offer.”

This is the good kind of world we live in, where even the people you don’t know can be your village for a few hours to help get you through a trying time. As we disembarked, I noticed that the dad had a bracelet that said, “Come Holy Spirit.” You know, I think she did.

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