Encouragement for the Long-Haul
When I think of people in my life who are most in need of encouragement I think of moms, especially young moms. I was recently on a long-haul flight from Amsterdam to Los Angeles and just one row away was a young mother with a bright-eyed, curly-haired toddler. After the first 30 minutes of the flight it became apparent that there was no way the little boy was going to stay in a seat of any sort, no sir!
After the meal was served, during which I observed the mom hardly ate a bite, she tried to put him down for a nap. Well it wasn’t going to happen and he definitely made sure everyone knew that! So, the mom did what most of us parents know is a “trap”, but is a surefire way to calm those tears— she strapped him into a carrier and walked him up and down the aisle.
For the next NINE hours of the flight I hardly ever saw the mom in her seat. Everytime I went to the restroom, I saw her there in the back of the plane, with the toddler who refused to sleep strapped to her chest, swaying back and forth, caressing his little curls and whispering something to him in dutch (“hush baby, please go to sleep” would be my guess).
I have no idea where her strength and energy came from but I felt for that mom, truly I did. I was braving that 10-hour flight with a toddler of my own, who THANK GOD was content to sit in her own seat for nearly the entire flight watching cartoons on the ipad with a never-ending stream of snacks at her fingertips (oh I assure you, there was major mom-guilt about this too, but desperate times call for desperate measures); but I know very well how things could have gone down with my own little sweet, yet strong-willed little girl. So, all the more I wanted to give that mom a word of encouragement: tell her she was doing a great job, tell her how strong and amazing she was.
I wish I could say I followed through, but I didn’t. The moment the plane hit the tarmac at LAX, we were all single-mindedly focused on the freedom beckoning us on the other side of the jetbridge. It was certainly a missed opportunity that I need to learn from. I pray that next time I remember to take the time to simply encourage a mom in need, because there will definitely be a next time— as long as there are children in the world, there will be moms in need of encouragement.
Today is mother’s day. Take the opportunity to encourage a mom in your life— she needs it <3
Writer, Storyteller, Content contributor of NON
Los Angeles, CA