Daily kindness

In the last few years, I have logged a lot of miles traveling with kids. However recently my mind keeps going back to a trip I took without my family.  A couple years back, I had the sad news that a dear friend from college passed away suddenly due to a complication from surgery. Thankfully, I was able to arrange things with my husband and mom to take my kids for a couple days.  I  traveled to North Carolina for a beautiful celebration of her life and reunion with friends.

On the first leg of my flight something happened, and this is what I’ve been thinking about.  I noticed a mom traveling alone with two young kids, and an off duty pilot had just taken his seat next to them. I was about three rows back and from his mannerisms it was very obvious that he was not happy sitting by two little kids. I quickly offered to trade seats, and he jumped at the opportunity.  (One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are short with children.  I know kids can be crazy, but we were all once little.  Just a little kindness can go such a long way for families and kids).  The mother was relieved to have a mom next to her instead of someone less patient. Whilst I enjoyed a few moments of respite from a heavy heart as I helped occupy her children. As it turned out, the mother knew some of our opera friends as it can be a small opera world.

I don’t mean to write this in a boastful way because if anything, I was the beneficiary of a distraction from my loss.  I’ve just been wondering about ways me and my little kids can show more daily kindness to people.  It’s hard sometimes when I’m out alone with my kids to go out of my way for people, but it is something I hope I am teaching.

Does anyone have some advice about teaching kids kindness?  We all need more kindness in our lives.

My friend lost too soon with my oldest son, while he was trying to avoid bedtime.

About the author:

Prior to becoming a traveling opera wife and full-time mother, Ann Hinckley Stucki studied socio-cultural anthropology as an undergraduate and went on to receive her master’s degree in social work. She has worked in a variety of fields from health education, mental health/community/school social work, geriatrics, childbirth labor support, and disease prevention in Latin America. Her research pursuits have taken her from a Costa Rican/Nicaraguan border dispute to London, England to present graduate research at a Medical Anthropology conference. Additionally, she is an award-winning photographer and enjoys portrait work. She also teaches fire breathing. Brian Stucki has been singing professionally full-time for more than six years, taking his family on the road with him. He has sung with companies and orchestras from coast to coast and on three continents. Highlights include The Pearl Fishers with Seattle Opera, Così fan tutte with the New Israeli Opera, Haydn’s Creation, with Boston Baroque, The Barber of Seville with the Compaña Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City, and The Fall of the House of Usher with the Polish National Opera..