Crying and alone, she straddled one baby on her hip while her other infant sat in a car seat at her feet. She was on an airplane, presumably on a trip to a happy place; at least it was just that when she booked the flight. Now, she wasn't so sure.
So many of us saw the images and the video of that fragile-looking mom, in tears, holding her baby while trying to get all three of her family members settled on the flight. She was likely already very stressed; after all -- travelling with kids is no easy feat. Try doing it with two babies or toddlers, as so many of us twin parents have, and then get back to me about what stress and anxiety really feels like.
Nevertheless, she had apparently been trying to load her double stroller -- a must-have staple when you're the parent of young twins -- into a spot on the plane. According to witnesses, an American Airlines employee, in an effort of trying to stop this mom from storing her stroller, "violently" took the stroller from the frazzled woman, hitting her in the head with the item in the process. Tears, not surprisingly, ensued and, perhaps even less surprising to us all, the entire exchange (following the alleged hit in the head) was captured on video, ready to be shared with the masses.
And that it was.
A very angry American Airlines flight attendant wasn't done with the situation yet, oh, no -- he was ready for battle, if the video of the incident is to be believed. After a disgusted passenger who had witnessed the incident complained, this thoroughly professional AA attendant threatened fisticuffs to a paying customer. Yes, really.
All the while, the mom of twins continued crying while she held her baby on her hip.
This scenario hit a particular nerve with me, as I've been where she's been and under no circumstances was her treatment OK.
Travelling with twin babies is a task in and of itself, and anyone who manages to get their babies onto the plane, let alone singlehandedly wrangle their double-stroller while holding on to one of the said twins (while the other languished in their car seat at their mom's feet) should be not only be supported but lauded for their tenacity, physical and emotional strength, and multitasking skills.
It's a terrifying thing, the prospect of boarding a plane with two babies or toddlers, while you are the person who must endure the daggers being stared at you by other travellers who are anticipating mayhem. Two babies (or toddlers) and a non-stop flight to a not-so-local destination do not a perfect scenario make.
But back to the situation at hand.
On a more basic level, flight attendants and anyone in particular who works in a customer-service capacity should never lead a paying customer to tears, under any circumstances.
Yet, this is what appears to have happened.
Which leads one to ask: whatever happened to the kindness of strangers? The reliance on the knowledge that regardless of what your particular situation is at any given time, the humanity residing in the person beside you would make itself known, if needed?
Whatever happened to the perspective that we're all in this together, and, gee willikers, we're going to get through it together too? Especially when there are not one but two babies involved?
Apparently these benchmarks of basic common decency have disappeared along with what is now perceived to be a more simple and forgotten time when basic common decency was not only supported but heralded as well.
Perhaps this is a simplistic world view from a bygone era, but I, for one, wish it would return. No -- not everything from past times is better; certainly we've made strides in terms of so much, technologically and otherwise. But it's those little things, those niceties such as basic human decency, kindness and caring for our fellow man, woman and child -- or two -- that used to be the norm, not the exception.
That poor, poor woman and her sweet, sweet babies. I wish I were there to give her a hug and put myself between the horrific man who sunk low enough to upset a woman travelling with twin babies.
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