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Mom Weeps on Ground in Airport During Toddler's Meltdown. Then Women Gather & Form a Circle

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The world is made up of people representing all walks of life. Many times, those innate differences may lead to disagreement and discord.

As we’ve all witnessed very recently, some of those differences may utterly defy our comprehension. They can produce rage, despair, even deadly violence.

Numerous people have begun examining ways to heal our hurting world at the most fundamental level: empathy, inclusiveness, cooperation, altruism, love. And recently at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a group of women beautifully demonstrated what these attributes look like put into action.

According to a Facebook post shared by Beth Bornstein Dunnington not long before Valentine’s Day, all of the women involved were strangers. They banded together in compassion — to support a young mom who had essentially reached the end of her rope.

Dunnington, who currently resides in Hawaii, was waiting at the LAX gate to board a plane bound for Portland. “Flights to two different cities were boarding on either side of the Portland flight,” explained her social media entry.

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Evidently, a toddler around the age of 18 months began having what Dunnington described as “a total meltdown.” She recalled a profoundly unhappy little guy who was scurrying between the seats, screaming, kicking, and flat-out refusing to board one of these other flights.

The boy’s young mother appeared to be traveling alone with her son, and Dunnington said she was “clearly pregnant.” The woman was also struggling to pick him up since he continually squirmed away and dropped to the floor, flailing, and hollering.

Finally, the overwhelmed mom simply sank down, hid her face in her hands, and started to cry. And that’s when something spontaneous and wonderful happened.

According to Dunnington’s post, roughly six or seven ladies seated around the terminal silently got up, walked over, and knelt in a circle around the weeping woman and her overwrought child. They didn’t strategize, hesitate, or confer in advance — they simply took immediate action out of kindhearted empathy.

One woman peeled an orange, while another removed a toy from her bag and gave it to the toddler. Yet another woman handed the young mother some bottled water; while a fourth found the boy’s sippy cup and coaxed him to take a drink, too.

Dunnington herself began singing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” to help soothe the little man’s tears. “There was no discussion and no one knew anyone else,” she marveled, “but we were able to calm them both down — and she got her child on the plane.”

Once mother and son had departed the terminal, those who had offered their help simply returned to their seats. “We were strangers,” reiterated Dunnington, “gathering to solve something.”

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And she said she was reminded that a circle of caring individuals on a mission “can save the world.” Dunnington also said she will never forget the quiet power of that moment — and hopefully, neither will anyone else who witnessed it.

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Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children.
Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children. Additionally, she's an avid animal lover who has spent much of her life rehabilitating abused rescue canines.
Books Written
"The Hidden Treasury: Stories of Wonders and Wanderings"
Location
Illinois
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Music, Marketing, Nutrition, Fitness, Pet Care/Behavior, Cooking, Entertainment




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