My Stories of Nice….

Okay here’s my first one. It’s an old one but it’s my favorite one! Several years back, we were all in Miami, Florida and set to fly back to Minnesota. I was 7 months pregnant with #4 and I had three other children ages…6, 4 and 2 with me in tow. Hubby was with us for the vacation but had to head back early to Minnesota on business. I didn’t think this was a huge issue, as my folks were there as well flying out the same time. Well I was regretting my decision to let Daddy leave early almost immediately. It was quite a deal to get the three children and my waddly self to our gate – with our menagerie of bags, car seats, luggage and misc gear. We had not been able to check anything in – our flight was too far out yet. So after two train rides, and a lonnnngggg walk through a nearly empty terminal to the end gate – our gate – we settle in 4 hours early. I thought it slightly curious there were NO other flights leaving from this gate area but the board behind me clearly read my flight as the next flight out – at 4:00. It’s now noon. My folks kiss us all goodbye and take off to catch their flight home. Things are running smoothly – kids are eating the snacks, keeping busy with toys. Okay I can do this I tell myself. Hannah has to go potty. Hmmm….the potty is far away and I’m not too excited to lug our stuff there. So I gather up the “necessitities” which was quite an alarming amount, say a prayer no crazies come at this moment and steal all our luggage and we trot off to the potty with three kids. We come back, settle back in and I look up to see another family heading our way. It’s an Indian family – as in from India. Mrs. Mom has a sari on, Mr. Dad and two young boys have western clothes on. I am sure they must also be on our flight otherwise why would they be heading DIRECTLY FOR ME. Well they come on into the gate area and to my shock they sit RIGHT next to us. RIGHT next us. As in our elbows are touching. Now mind you there are about 100 empty seats in this gate. I smile, they smile. They start to unpack their gear. Mrs. Mom lays out a blanket right next to mine. I think, “Am I on candid camera?” I say, “Are you heading to Minnesota too?” which really meant, “Is there some reason you are sitting essentially on top of us?” and Mr. Dad answers (Mrs. Mom does not appear to speak much English), “No – we are going to Nebraska”. Oh. Then why, I wonder, are you still here? He must have read my mind because he adds, “We sit here together with you!” with a beaming smile. Super I think! I know I should have been more open to this family but my American “get out of my personal space” drive kicked in and I was mildly freaked out.
The kids had no such issues. Zack and their about the same age boy quickly figured out how to link up their game boys (this was pre Wifi Ninetendos). Hannah and Lukey played with their youngest boy on the other blanket. Mrs. Mom brought out her mega stash of treats and I poured out mine, and the kids swapped and shared and I will admit it was nice. We Moms could not say too much to each other so we smiled and watched the kiddos – Mr. Dad was on his phone. Soon Hannah had to go potty again. I started to gather our stuff again and Mrs. Mom motioned to leave it all – just take the kids. Then Mr. Dad put his hand over his receiver and said, “You eat – eat – you have not eaten go eat – we will watch all the bags”!
Wow, now I feel really bad I shot them daggers when they sat by me and I see that they are in fact, just really friendly. So it feels great to stretch my legs, feed the kids a real lunch and use the potty. We return. The kids continue to play and I’m now full out enjoying myself together with Mr. Very Nice Mom.
All too soon Mr. Dad starts to pack up their belongings. He motions to his watch and says, “Our flight leaves in an hour – we need to go to our terminal”. We say goodbye – Mrs. Very Nice Mom hugs me – I feel a real sense of sadness and lonliness when they walk away.
I turn around and look at the board. It still say my flight leaves from here in an hour. **sigh** I sit down and wait. Missing my new friends.
Then there is an annoucement…my flight has been moved to an entirely different TERMINAL but not a later time.
I am stunned. I look around and realize there is almost no way I can lug three kids, two car seats, all our bags and carry ons and my pregnant self that far in such a short time. Those handy rolling SMART CARTS cannot be taken out of the tram area and that’s easily 15 gates away. So I load up each child with as much gear as their bony little bodies will hold.
Poor Zack looks like the little dog from The Grinch That Stole Christmas his teeny skinny legs are wobbling so under the weight. We were a pathetic site. I tell him (with great feigned excitement) that he gets to be Daddy today and carry all the gear!!! He gives me a brave smile back. I pick up my toddler and try to drag three suitcases with one hand. Hannah has all the diaper bags and carry ons safely coiled around her neck. We attempt to plod forward. Good times!!!
After what seemed like 10 minutes we pause to realize we had only moved 5 gates! TEN more gates to go to just reach the TRAM! There was no way in jingo we were making this flight. Still – we trudge on.
Suddenly – up the terminal area comes running The Super Nice Dad from the super nice family. I immediately assume he thought he forgot something. We all stop and I smile and say, “Hey – what happened? Did you forget something??? I checked everywhere there was nothing left after we left”. He smiled ear to ear and said, “No I heard your flight was changed. I knew you would not make it so I will help you!” and without waiting for me to protest, he grabs Lukey, BOTH car seats and most of the bags. He lets Zack take one bag and me one bag and Hannah grabs my hand. He motions for Zack to catch up with him and as they run ahead he winks at Zack who looks back at me (struggling to keep up) like “Did you see that Mom????” Mr. Super Nice Dad was our SUPER HERO that day! Thanks to him, we DO catch the tram, we DO make it three terminals away, we DO barrel into our gate and we DO make our flight. I turn to him and say, “Thank you!! I hope we didn’t cause you to miss YOUR flight” and he just smiles and waves and runs off because this is just a day in the life of nice guys that see strangers as friends to meet and serve. Wish I had thought of that first!
To think I didn’t want them to sit by me. Shame on me. Shame on me!! So whoever you are Mr. Super Nice Dad and Mrs. Super Nice Mom and nice family – THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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