You read a lot of stories about people social media shaming parents for their children’s outbursts and tantrums. Just think, you could be having a terrible day, trying to get your toddler under control so you can board an airplane, when someone decided to whip out their cellphone and start filming your struggle – rather than offer you assistance or you know, mind their own business.

A refreshing story was shared online by a woman named Beth Bornstein Dunnington who witnessed and participated in an incredibly powerful moment at the Los Angeles International Airport.

She says she was waiting to board her flight when she noticed a toddler, maybe eighteen months old, having a “total meltdown”. Dunnington says she toddler was “running between seats, kicking and screaming, then lying on the ground, refusing to board the plane”.


From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

Total nightmare situation for any parent, right?

Well, the young mother, “who was clearly pregnant and traveling alone with her son, became completely overwhelmed”.

She says the poor mom was so exhausted and frustrated she eventually “sat down on the floor and put her head in her hands, with her kid next to her still having a meltdown, and started crying.”

Dunnginton writes this story while on the plane, at this point she begins to cry recalling what happened next.

“The women in the terminal, there must have been six or seven of us, not women who knew each other, approached and surrounded her and the little boy and we knelt down and formed a circle around them. I sang “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to the little boy… one woman had an orange that she peeled, one woman had a little toy in her bag that she let the toddler play with, another woman gave the mom a bottle of water. Someone else helped the mom get the kid’s sippy cup out of her bag and give it to him. “

She continues, “It was so gorgeous, there was no discussion and no one knew anyone else, but we were able to calm them both down, and she got her child on the plane.”

Dunnington says, “Only women approached. After they went through the door we all went back to our separate seats and didn’t talk about it… we were strangers, gathering to solve something. It occurred to me that a circle of women, with a mission, can save the world.”



Beth Bornstein Dunnington posted an update, or “afternote” that reads:
“I learned something on Friday, on my way from LA to Portland. We’re so hungry for kindness right now that a simple sharing of my airport experience… some of us surrounding a mother and child who needed help… has been spoken back to me in a way that has really taken me by surprise. I’m deeply humbled that 10 thousand people shared my post and 35 thousand people liked it. Thank you for all the eyes on that story. I’m going to move forward knowing that kindness, that gathering to solve something for another human being, makes all the difference… is an antidote to the chaos we’ve been experiencing. And on that day it began with the women.”

Filed under: airport, children, family, women