Today as I was waiting for my flight from Salt Lake City to my mother's border town in Texas, I noticed a young girl leaning out of her seat to observe Baby Hippo playing with his toes and other toys. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched her point the baby out to her sister and mother, and they all were enthralled with him for many minutes. When it was finally time to board our plane, I ended up standing next to her while I questioned a flight attendant about an issue, and as I was waiting for a response, she got my attention and asked if she could save a place for me on the plane. "Since I'm a minor traveling alone, I'll be the first on the plane, so I'll get the best seat," she said.
I smiled broadly and said "Sure!" and she smiled back. Then she and her mother and sister continued to play with the baby, the ten-year-old telling me that she was going to visit her father, and her little sister sniveling through tears that she wouldn't see her big sister for five days.
When it was time to board, the girl gave me a knowing look before turning and showing her boarding pass to the flight attendant. Apparently Southwest no longer has pre-boarding for families, so I obediently got in the back of the line with everyone else. I didn't really think that the girl would be able to save me a prime seat, so I steeled myself for walking through the 12-inch aisle, with my super-heavy back-pack, purse, baby and thick quilt, to the back of the plane.
To my surprise, however, my dear friend had saved an aisle seat on the second row for me! She had even managed to save the seat in the middle, so we would have more room for the baby. I asked how she had done it, keeping those two seats clear, and she confidently told me that she didn't have to do anything because people know that babies sit up front and nobody wants to sit by babies so everyone had walked on by.
The rest of the flight was spent with her questioning me about Baby Hippo, me questioning her about her familial relationships, and her suggesting ways I could soothe Baby Hippo when he was crying, ways I hadn't thought of, which worked.
She was amazing and I hope she has a great visit with her dad, who has just come home for Iraq. Thank you, Kaylee, wherever you are, for a great flight!
Thanks for listening.
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