Vivi is officially a horrible flier. I gave her a pass on horrible flights one and two, but flights three, four and six were all equally as terrible. Notice how I left the fifth flight out? Yeah, that’s because horrible isn’t an adequate enough adjective for how bad our flight from Salt Lake to Chicago was last night. You guys, she SCREAMED the entire flight. And not just gentle complaints, but backwards head throwing screaming at the top of her lungs so loud people probably thought I was smuggling razor blades in her intestines.

She’s getting her top molars which has to have contributed to the misery but YOU GUYS. I did my best. Oh my gosh I did my best.

Once we got off the plane I realized because of delays in Salt Lake I didn’t have 40 minutes between flights, I had 4.

The thought of immediately getting on another plane with Vivi sent me into sobbing fits. I was all alone. I had at least another hour on a plane with her. I haven’t cried that hard in a long time.

I’m not even sure I’ve cried that hard in public, ever.

Despite dozens, if not hundreds of people seeing me crying while pushing a stroller through the terminal, no one said anything. One flight attendant on my flight was gracious enough to ask if I was okay, take my bags and get me some water.

When someone is visibly sobbing it’s not like someone who may or may not be pregnant, something is clearly going on. You say something, you do something. You don’t just look the other way because emotions make you uncomfortable. I have sat with many people in many different places who have been crying. With a mom who lost her son in Disneyworld, another woman who was having a panic attack in the Chicago Children’s Museum, one woman who was simply having a hard time at Blissdom and I hugged another mom when she got a call that her son was being rushed to the ER for a severe cut on his finger.

If you’re having a hard time? I hug.

I’m a hugger.

Even if you’re a stranger.

I’m also a hand holder or shoulder patter.

Someone once told me that it had been months since they had had any physical contact with another human. We’re not even talking physical bow chicka contact, we’re talking a hug or a hand hold. This wasn’t a smelly mean person either, this was a normal well adjusted human whom I like a lot. Just because someone is of a certain age, has a partner, kids or still lives at home doesn’t mean they get the physical interaction we all need as humans. Hugs can change lives. Hand squeezes can brighten dire situations.

I’m not saying you should make out with strangers or hug crying women in the airport for an awkward amount of time…but you guys. We’re all in this together, so why did I go through a panic attack in a very public place alone last night?

What stops you from helping people or reaching out?

(I should mention that when it comes to people asking for money, I’m more than happy to buy them food or a cup of coffee, or offer them food or bottled water I keep in my car.  (Literally, beggars can’t be choosers right?) I have been told “I don’t want food, I want a dollar.” more than I have been taken up on my offer to buy/give food. Well then. Responses like this keep a tiny little cynic alive inside me.)


  1. @Shash, God didn’t put billions of people on this earth for us to go through life alone. -me.

  2. @Chrysta, I will say that I have amazing mascara so at least THAT was managed.

  3. @Suebob, Oh, I love it when Suebob is softened.

  4. @Susan (5 Minutes for Mom), Had it been Janice she would have offered me Canadian…um. Stuff. 😉

  5. @Pgoodness, Oh! I’ve seen that too. Where does it cross from caring to creepy? Tonight, on Dateline.

  6. @Rie, Oh my. This is a WONDERFUL story.
    Bless you for being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time (even if it was an ironic place.)

  7. @Ohh Betsy!!, Yes, there’s something to everyone being in the same situation.
    My new tagline will be “I cry to make you uncomfortable”

  8. @Connie Burke, I have learned SO MUCH from those running CNN airport loops. Honestly.
    Who do we talk to?

  9. @Sarah, OH YES! That silly baby. My heart was broken for you yet so excited all at the same time.
    I’ve been thinking about you a lot, I know you can’t physically feel that, but maybe you can feel it the same way you feel sunshine.

  10. @Sunshine, Always. Carry. Tissues.

  11. @Heather, She wasn’t mobile from Indy to San Diego. That makes a really big difference.

    Heather Reply:

    @Casey, Well, fine, but I’m pretty sure my awesome had something to do with it.

  12. @alimartell, Hugs ARE better than drugs! Even those Canadian ones they had out like Skittles!
    Instead of air marshals on flights there should be mom marshals.
    I decree it be so.

  13. @wendy, Yes.

  14. @HeidiLee, Thank you to whomever you may help in the future.

  15. @Donna, Oof, thankfully that’s not Vivi’s problem (as far as I know) but I can only imagine!

  16. @Alli, Thanks lovie.

  17. @domestic extraordinaire, Good news always comes in golf carts.

  18. @Amy in StL, No judgement from me. I never liked kids until I had my own and even now I am very picky about which kids I love on, hold and am okay with.
    I’ve been burned as well but something inside me keeps fighting for the better good of society.
    I believe a lot of it is situational, the truth is I was collapsed against a wall in no hurry at all. Just a wreck.
    I think you’ll know when you can help and when it’s out of your realm of comfort or abilities.

  19. @Julia, There has to be some neutral ground, some universal sign of “I need help” or “This is what I can offer.”

    Julia Reply:

    @Casey, Yes – I think that is a great idea! 🙂

  20. @Stephanie Precourt, Of course you would! And knowing there are lovely people like you out there make this world a much less scary place for me.

  21. @ellie d, Oh yes. Thank you so much.

  22. @Rebekah, Yes. YES! I feel so Oprah-ish right now.

  23. @Alexandra, WHA? Cody gets mad at me that I go out of my way to help people at very inopportune times (for him at least, there’s never a wrong time to help people!)

  24. @Kim Q, I have had issues in restaurants as well, but the thing about a restaurant is I have a way out. I can go home, I can go back to a hotel, I can take a cab, I can take my car, I know someone else who is at the restaurant, I can call a friend.
    In the airport I’m alone, I’m hundreds of miles from home with no way of getting there quicker, surrounded by strangers and unable to get a hold of anyone with all the rules about phones and flying.
    I think everyone knows what they are capable of, what they’re comfortable with and what they’re willing to do when confronted with someone in a difficult situation.

  25. @Nichole, Thank you.

  26. @KDA, Thank you, and I’m sure you would have.

  27. I am, admittedly, not a hugger. But I WILL stop if I see a mom sobbing like that to see if she needs help. And I will put my hand on her shoulder or arm.

    However, my non-hugging status has been deeply affected by your hugs. You give some of the best hugs I have ever had.

    Don’t tell Cortney.

  28. I would have gone up and offered you chocolate or an airport muffin or something and asked you if there was anything else I could do. I’m so sorry… 🙁

  29. Oh, your cried out eyes in this picture just break my heart. I am so sorry you had this experience. Sadly, I think a lot of people don’t stop because they don’t know what to do or are scared their approach would be unwelcome. I would have stopped and hugged and helped. I have been that crying woman with a baby, although not at an airport. How sad is it to be surrounded by people and feel so lonely.

    Wafa Reply:

    @Sandra, I have broken down in public a couple of times, & those times I just wanted to disappear. I hoped & prayed no-one would see me, & that if they did they would ignore me. If someone had approached me I would have asked them to leave me alone. So from my perspective, ignoring a crying stranger = doing her a courtesy, i.e. doing unto her as I would want done unto me. If you need help just ask; most people will be glad to assist. They don’t offer because they don’t know what you need.

  30. I literally started crying when I read about your experience flying alone with your babe. I can’t believe no one reached out to you. I have been on a plane with a screaming baby and I just wish as a fellow passenger that there was ANYTHING I could do! I’m so sorry you had to go through that alone! She sure is cute though!

  31. If I’m in an airport, chances are I’m dealing with my own airport related issues. I figure, if someone is being attacked or having a heart attack I’ll try to help, but if I stopped to help everyone with emotional problems I would be stuck in the airport for the rest of my life. Personally, if for any reason I did break down in a public place, I would just want people to leave me alone. I don’t want sympathy hugs or pats. I just want people to go on about their business without bothering me.

    Everyone is different. If I don’t offer random strangers a shoulder to cry on, it’s because I wouldn’t want to cry on a strangers shoulder myself.

  32. I’m a hugger. But I also panic, and know that that physical touch can make such a difference in the chemical chaos going on inside of me. 2 weeks ago I had the worst panic attack of my life, and had to have a new friend calm me down. When she tried to hug me, I pushed her away, though. She’s not a hugger. It didn’t make sense. I needed help, but not a hug. Anyway, I think generally people don’t hug, don’t help because they are scared to get involved. Scared of the consequences. Scared they will make it worse. It’s not right, but it’s the broken human condition (i’m learning).

  33. Jamye Jack says:

    First of all, I am so sorry that you had that experience. Crying/breaking down in public is an experience in and of itself, but then doing it alone, and nobody seems to care??? It makes it that much worse. After 3 years of trying to get pregnant, I finally got pregnant only to miscarry at 8.5 weeks in a Target bathroom. I was sobbing hysterically and I could hear women coming into the bathroom only to hear them leave immediately because of some “crazy woman” crying in the stall. A few who were in there already, left quickly. As I was washing my hands (still a blubbering mess) women walked by me as if I was invisible. The experience was horrific enough and then to feel like human kind was “too uncomfortable” to reach out made it that much worse. It did make me reevaluate how I am when I see people in need/hurting/lost etc. I hope the next time I see somebody like us in public, it makes me respond differently.

  34. @Casey,

    Agree with you there! A lovely room to cry in would be awesome


  1. […] have the chance to know their story as well. Speaking of stories, last week I was all “AH! PANIC ATTACK ALONE IN THE AIRPORT!” and so many of you were all “AAH! I’VE GONE THROUGH HORRIBLE STUFF ALONE IN […]

  2. […] situation could have been a little better, but it also could have been A LOT worse. I could have had Vivi with me. I could have been alone. I could have been in a crummy city where I didn’t know anyone, I could […]