Thursday, May 9, 2013

When I Almost Moved to St. Louis

As I sat a gate C28 waiting to board my delayed flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to San Diego, there was a family with a screaming 1 year old. There were about 50 of us sitting there and we were listening to a continual scream. I watched as the parents handed off the baby and then walked to hallway. I didn’t see
how far they went, just that the screaming became more faint for a while. American Airlines customers were already cranky… And, to be honest, I was also a little cranky. After a week away from home, I was irritated at the delay and the noise was not helping. Comments started coming from people, “I hope that baby isn’t on our flight.”, “Why don’t they do something.”

This reminded me of the time we almost moved to St. Louis. We were flying home from a vacation/volunteer meeting with our then 1 ½ year old daughter. She screamed the entire flight from Indy to St. Louis. The ENTIRE time. As our pediatrician’s suggestion we had given her some baby Benadryl to help her sleep/rest. No dice. Nothing but screaming. We were in the bulkhead seats (I can picture it exactly!) and got off the plane with her car seat, bags, etc. I turned to the Reverend and said tearfully, “We are moving to St. Louis. I CANNOT get back on a plane. We could be happy here.” I was red, sweaty, tearful, self-conscious and had a headache. People were staring and making snide comments.

What do these two horrendous tales have in common? ALL PEOPLE wanted it to stop? Truth. The message here, though, is how easy it is to forget what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes. Doesn’t this happen all of the time in our community? Here you are dealing with a risk management problem, in crisis, overwhelmed. Next thing you know, it is a few semesters later and you are irritated that someone else finds themselves in the same position. This doesn’t just happen around crisis. It is pretty much a universal. We easily forget that others may experience the world in the EXACT same way that we have in the past.

Our University community has been shaken in the past few months. It seems to me that this is the time when we should be supporting one another the most. Remembering those times when we felt alone, stressed, overwhelmed. A time when we reach out and develop a “me, too” attitude.

And… when the parent came back, baby still screaming, I caught his eye. He got a nod and a smile. Me, too, sir. Me, too.

1 comment:

  1. That kind of understanding is the only way as a community we can stand strong. And if it isn't "me too" ... it is "by the grace of God." Thank you for the times you have reached out to me ... given me a nod and a smile!