Any parent who has had to fly with a young child has thought it. “How are we going to survive this?” You worry about how your little one will fare having to sit still for hours and how the changing cabin pressure might trigger a meltdown. You hope you brought enough snacks and entertainment to keep things pleasant, and a part of you hopes they somehow manage to sleep through the bulk of the trip. Multiply these fears tenfold if your child is “spirited.”
Shanell feared the worst when her daughter Kate, whose autism makes it difficult to sit still, began reaching for the man seated next to them. He looked like a typical businessman, and was attempting to get a little work done on the flight. To Shanell and Kate’s delight, rather than react with the all-too-familiar politely irritated look, Eric Kunkel set down his work and played with Kate. He truly has a heart of gold. Even his reaction upon hearing the public thank-you letter addressed to him nearly brings him to tears.
A part of me finds it sad that such a simple act is considered remarkable in this day and age, but any action that helps bring people together should be celebrated.
Click here to read the full letter that’s gone viral: Mouland Letter: Dear Daddy in Seat 16C