A Crying Baby and a Few Pies

27 Oct

Late last month I boarded a flight to Portland for the first leg of my journey to see my daughter, Alex, in New York. I sat in my assigned seat, greeted my seatmate and waited for takeoff.  A few minutes later, a young couple with a crying infant headed for their seats – one row in front of and across the aisle from me. Moments later the baby’s cries became more frantic.  At that point, the mother handed the baby to the dad, and he sat there holding his screaming baby. The “mom” in me thought that by waving at the baby I could distract him for a moment, and maybe his cries would abate.  Instead, the baby’s Dad saw me waving and handed the baby over to me.

screaming baby

I was stunned!  The baby was screaming so immediately I tried bouncing him on my knees. Then I decided this situation called for serious measures and stood up and began rocking him from back and forth. The first flight attendant said that this was okay to do and that he’d let me know when we were ready for takeoff, so I continued to rock and talk quietly to the child.  In a matter of minutes, his cries became less frantic, and soon he stopped crying altogether. Then I noticed that the baby’s head was beginning to lean on my chest and before long he was sound asleep.  At that moment, the second flight attendant told me that I needed to sit down, so I handed the baby back to his parents. When I did that, the flight attendant looked at me in disbelief and said, “He’s not yours?”

No, he wasn’t mine, but I was happy to help because (let’s be honest) many of us have had that same experience. We’re stressed out for so many reasons (for example, packing and getting ready for a trip, rushing to the airport, etc) and of course, our baby picks up on that stress. Instead of being an annoyed passenger thinking “Oh no, a crying baby” I wanted to do something if I could and, fortunately, it worked out. The baby slept for the rest of the flight, Mom and Dad seemed more relaxed, and I got to soothe (and hold) a new baby.  Win-win-win!  What a way to start my trip!

high five

The reason for my visit to New York was so that I could help celebrate Alexandra’s, 27th birthday.  We did so by attending The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (cost: free!), The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (cost: free!), and the musical The Book of Mormon (SRO tix only $27!).  We also took long walks, dined around town, and simply spent time together. It was such a good visit and I know that I am a very lucky mama!



While there I baked three apple pies… one for my brother-in-law, Mike, one for our friend Tom’s birthday, and one for my daughter’s amazing friend, Royce.

me and roycePie for Tom Minor

Royce with me and his Apple Pie and an Apple Pie for Tom.

Sullivan Street Bakeryimagine

Enjoying scrumptious bread at Sullivan Street Bakery and visiting Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial site.

Once back home, I baked another Apple Pie for one of our favorite singer/songwriters, the amazing Martin Sexton, who opened Jefferson Public Radio’s One World Performance Series. Then, a few days later, I baked yet another Apple Pie for a woman who donated to a charity that I help with. It was such fun to surprise her with a pie to thank her for her gift. Finally, a Bacon and Roasted Pepper quiche found its way to a dear friend who is going through chemo. It’s something nourishing that she can eat when she feels like eating and will also hold for a few days when she is not able to do so.

quiche for JoAnn

It’s been a long time since I’ve written and part of the reason for my delay was that there were so many stories in the news that have felt especially devastating. Some days I’ve found it hard to read the paper or listen to the radio because the stories break my heart. At times like this, I wish I could do something magical and change the world for the better. Until then, I will continue to give away pies… and maybe, every so often, I’ll rock a crying baby.

“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”  David Mamet

11 Responses to “A Crying Baby and a Few Pies”

  1. Kathy Keener October 27, 2015 at 8:48 PM #

    I love this, Karen! I held my breath when I read “boarded a flight” and “crying infant”! Ever so gradually you built the volume, surprised us when the dad handed the baby to you, demonstrated that you are an experienced mom, then tied it into your NYC baking experience. You take us on a well-crafted journey with you. This one is worthy of Hearth, if the right topic comes up!

    Thanks for sharing your story with us!


    On Tue, Oct 27, 2015 at 6:11 PM, Pie a Day Give Away wrote:

    > pieadaygiveaway posted: “Late last month I boarded a flight to > Portland for the first leg of my journey to see my daughter, Alex, in New > York. I sat in my assigned seat, greeted my seatmate and waited for > takeoff. A few minutes later, a young couple with a crying infant headed > f”

    • pieadaygiveaway October 28, 2015 at 7:30 AM #

      Kathy, Thank you so much! I do love telling happy stories… and am honored that you think me Hearth-worthy!

  2. Richard Cano October 27, 2015 at 9:55 PM #


  3. shirley97520 October 27, 2015 at 10:30 PM #

    Yes, the news is often devastating, Karen, but your stories of love and connection and kindness keep reminding us of goodness in the world. Thank you for taking the time to share these positive moments.

  4. Mary October 28, 2015 at 2:15 PM #

    So wonderful….you, your stories of kindnesses and your pies…I am truly blessed to have you in my life!!

    • pieadaygiveaway October 28, 2015 at 3:05 PM #

      You are too sweet Mary. Thank you. I feel lucky to know you and Michael too!

  5. ladyhawkmax October 28, 2015 at 7:14 PM #

    Great Story, I am missing all my friends but having a great relaxing time. I’m so glad that Alex is doing well, and you had a lovely visit.

  6. limberjack November 2, 2015 at 8:41 AM #

    You make me want to be a better person…but I know my limitations.

    • pieadaygiveaway November 2, 2015 at 9:56 AM #

      Thank you Jack! You are already a pretty darn good person so what would you improve?

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