It seems that flying the “friendly skies” recently took on a whole different meaning for a Canadian mom named Shanell and her beautiful three-year-old autistic daughter named Kate.
While scheduling the two-and-a-half hour flight between Florida and Philadelphia, mom was faced with the reality that her daughter might experience an anxiety attack while in mid-air in a confined place. It wasn’t so much the flight she dreaded, it had more to do with how other passengers might react should her daughter display that anxiety.
Much to Shanell’s shock and chagrin, her own anxiety proved to be nothing more than exercise in futility. As Eric the businessman took his seat in seat 16C, mom was prepared for the worse. What she got was a lesson in love and humanity.
It turns out Kate found an immediate connection to the man when she called him “daddy.” If he had any reservations about the situation, they surely melted away along with his heart.
Here’s how mom described the event in her Facebook post: “You walked up and sat down with your briefcase and your important documents and I had a vision of Kate pouring her water all over your multi-million-dollar contracts, or house deeds, or whatever it was you held. You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her. You could have given me that ‘smile’ that I despise because it means; ‘manage your child please.’ You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation and you asked her questions about her turtles. She could never really answer your questions but she was so enamored by you that she keep eye contact and joint attention on the items you were asking her about.”
The friendly skies have never been friendlier.