Dad praises stranger in airport: “This is what kindness looks like”

Toddler and kind stranger

Anyone who has ever sat in an airport waiting for a plane with a small child will love this story …

“Let her come up”

Dad Kevin Armentrout was at the airport with his 16-month old daughter Carter Jean on Saturday night when he was struck by the kindness of a complete stranger.

Carter Jean was doing what cute toddlers do, wriggling about, refusing to sit still, walking up to strangers and saying “hello”.

But when she walked past fellow passenger Joseph Wright, something special happened. Conscious of giving the man his personal space, Kevin said he first tried steering Carter Jean away from the gent. But Joseph put out his hand and said, “Let her come up.”

“He reached out and asked if she wanted to sit with him. He pulled out his tablet and showed her how to draw with it, they watched cartoons together, and she offered him snacks,” Kevin recalled on Facebook. 


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“This wasn’t a short little exchange, this was 45 minutes. Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her.”

Cue: Complete heart melt, right?!

Last night, while waiting to board our plane, @_carterjean_ was being her usual inquisitive self wanting to meet and say…

Posted by Kevin Armentrout on Saturday, 2 February 2019

“What kindness looks like”

As Kevin went on to write in a Facebook post, he was deeply moved by the man’s generosity and the connection he watched unfolding with his daughter.

“In a country that is continuously fed that it’s so deeply divided by beliefs, I want her life to be filled with moments like this … Not liberal or conservative republican or democrat, socialist or capitalist, just HUMAN.  Joseph … If this should happen to find you, thank you for showing my daughter what kindness and compassion look like. Continue to shine your light in the world.”

Of course, Carter Jean being a toddler there was also a few  interesting moments!

“She screamed and tried to get into his work calendar, but he couldn’t care less … She also offered him one of her cheesy puffs.” Cute!

After boarding his plane, Kevin shared the story so the kindness message could be spread far and wide.

“I wanted Joseph to know his gesture was huge. I’m trying to expose my daughter to people of different races, cultures and generations, and that was received with kind-hearted warmth.”

How lovely is that?

A truly kind soul

The icing on the cake for Kevin was reading the wonderful comments people left in response. Especially the ones left by people who actually knew Joseph and vouched for his generosity of spirit.

Including this message from a man who’d known Joseph over 40 years: “He’s been that way as long as I’ve known him.”

“Truly a wonderful guy, this doesn’t surprise me one bit!” another commenter posted.

Moved by the comments, Kevin said the beautiful exchange  between this stranger and his daughter meant more knowing he was clearly “the real deal.” A truly kind soul.

Sure beats looking at your phone or trying to ignore everyone around you while you’re waiting for a plane, huh?

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