A "Dear Daddy in Seat 16C" letter has gone viral after a mother thanked a kind stranger for playing with her autistic daughter, Kate, while flying out of Philadelphia, Pa. recently. The mother chronicled the businessman's sympathetic attitude on her blog, including Kate calling the man "Daddy" because she was so comfortable with him.
The "Dear Daddy in Seat 16C" is still unknown, but his kindness extended far more than not becoming irritable at 3-year-old Kate, whose youth and autism prompts to ask many questions and require a lot of interaction and understanding.
"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," the mother wrote. "I made a few polite offers to distract her, but you would have none of it."
The businessman, who boarded the plane with a briefcase and what looked like important documents, even played with Kate's action figures- he was offered the villain, "Shredder," which was "high praise" coming from the young girl.
"The interaction went on and on and you never once seemed annoyed," the mother recounted. "Kind of her to save you from playing Barbies, but I bet you wouldn't have minded a bit. I bet you have girls, too."
The compassion of "Daddy" even extended to when Kate stopped being nice and started being naughty. Sometimes autistic children can become overstimulated and feel confined and she was no different; the 3-year-old screamed, took off her seatbelt and repeated "plane is cwosed (closed)" again and again, the mother wrote.
But the kind stranger wasn't frustrated in the slightest.
"You tried to redirect her attention to her toys. She was already too far gone at this point, but the fact that you tried to help your new little friend made me emotional," she explained.
"So, thank you. Thank you for not making me repeat those awful apologetic sentences that I say so often in public. Thank you for entertaining Kate so much that she had her most successful plane ride, yet. And thank you for putting your papers away and playing turtles with our girl," the mother added.