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Dear “Daddy” in Seat 16C … The One Who Sat Next To My Little Girl With Special Needs

Dear “Daddy”, 

I don’t know your name but Kate called you ‘daddy’ for the entire flight last week and you kindly never corrected her.  In fact, you didn’t even flinch as you could probably tell that she was not confusing you with her own ‘daddy’ but instead making a judgment regarding your level of ‘safety’ for her.  If she calls you ‘daddy’ then you better believe she thinks you are alright.

I sat Kate in the middle seat knowing full well that there would be a stranger sitting next to her for the duration of this flight. I had to make a quick decision, and based on her obsession with opening and closing the window shade, I figured she might be less of a distraction if she sat in the middle.

I watched the entire Temple basketball team board the plane and wondered if one of these giants might sit by Kate. They all moved toward the back. She would have liked that; she would have made some observations that I would have had to deal with, but she would have liked those players.

I watched many grandmotherly women board and hoped for one to take the seat, but they walked on by. For a fleeting moment I thought we might have a free seat beside us, and then you walked up and sat down with your briefcase and your important documents, and I had a vision of Kate pouring her water all over your multi-million dollar contracts or house deeds or whatever it was you held.

The moment you sat down, Kate started to rub your arm. Your jacket was soft and she liked the feel of it. You smiled at her and she said: “Hi, Daddy, that’s my mom.” Then she had you.

You could have shifted uncomfortably in your seat. You could have ignored her. You could have given me that “smile” that I despise because it means, “Manage your child, please.”  You did none of that. You engaged Kate in conversation, and you asked her questions about her Turtles. She could never really answer your questions, but she was so enamored by you that she keep eye contact and joint attention on the items you were asking her about. I watched and smiled. I made a few polite offers to distract her, but you would have none of it.

Kate:  (Upon noticing you had an iPad)  Is dis Daddy’s puduter?

You:  This is my iPad. Would you like to see it?

Kate:  To me??????  (I know she thought you were offering it to her to keep.)

Brian Orme
Brian Orme
Brian is a writer and editor from Ohio. He works with creative and innovative people to discover the top stories, resources and trends to equip and inspire the Church.

Chuck Norris: A Tale of Enduring Love from High School Sweetheart to Lifelong Partner

Chuck Norris, a name synonymous with martial arts excellence and cinematic heroism, has led a life as intriguing off-screen as the characters he portrays...

Couple Loses 600 Pounds Combined Before Wedding—& Their Transformation Is Stunning!

After now shedding a staggering 578 pounds combined, the healthy, happy, new and improved couple says they plan to continue supporting each other through life, and even begin to counsel others on their own weight loss transformation.

“They Don’t Really Stand a Chance” – A Look Inside New York City’s Trafficking Industry

A recent three-part series published by the New York Post, gives a glimpse inside the hidden sex slave industry that’s living, breathing, and operating RIGHT under our noses. Here. In America. Sex trafficking in New York City and beyond.