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