FORT WORTH, Texas -- It was just a kind gesture. But a Fort Worth dad found it so “spectacular” that he took to social media to praise a fellow airline passenger who helped him on a solo flight with his 8-month-old son.
Evan and Kari Hughes were returning to Fort Worth from Chicago with their son Ki when they were caught in a wave of bad weather flight cancelations. By the time they were rebooked they ended up not only on separate flights six hours apart but also on separate airlines.
So it was pretty simple who would be the one to travel alone with Ki.
“Basically who got in first,” Evan Hughes said. And his flight was first.
Hughes says the first flight to Atlanta was uneventful. Ki slept most of the way. But then came the hurried trip to catch the connecting flight back to Love Field in Dallas.
“I was walking down the aisle and everybody’s looking at me, gosh, guy with a baby. Please don’t sit by me.”
Fortunately, he sat in the center seat next to a 25-year-old woman at the window who at first offered to help him when Ki got fussy.
“She offered to hold him and I didn’t want to impose and I refused a few times. But finally he got a little vocal and so I said OK. And she said just give him to me.”
Ki calmed down when he got to look out the window. And later he fell asleep in the woman’s lap. That’s when India Massinburg of Dallas told the tired and weary dad to trust her, go ahead, and take a nap too and she’d take care of Ki. And he did.
“It was such a precious moment I asked her right then do you mind if I take a picture of this,” Hughes said.
Now the picture, with Ki fast asleep in the woman’s lap, is making the rounds on social media. And yes, Ki’s mom appreciates the gesture too.
“It takes a village even if that village is a stranger. And your baby is a stranger to her,” said Kari Hughes. “We are so thankful for her and her kindness.”
“It totally caught me off guard,” Evan Hughes said. “Her generosity and just kindness through the whole thing was really spectacular.”
Reached by phone Massinburg admitted she has a knack for this sort of thing. She works at a child care center in DeSoto and just wanted to help a solo-traveling dad get through what could have been a frustrating flight.
But, as Kari Hughes joked while holding her blue-eyed smiling toddler “look at Ki, who wouldn’t want to hold him!”