I was recently on a business trip to Guadalajara. On the return flight a young family was seated a couple of rows up from me. They had a 2 and 4-year-old traveling with them.

Once the plane took off, the 2-year-old girl made it quite clear that she was not a happy camper with the air pressure in her little head and started wailing at the top of her lungs to the horror of her parents.

It immediately took me back to the time when I traveled with my 2-year-old daughter and had a similar experience. She cried from the moment we took off from Denver to the moment we landed in Chicago.

Being a seasoned business traveler, I have traveled on a lot of flights with screaming toddlers. It’s not fun for anyone around. Prior to my personal experience, I did not have a lot of tolerance for the parents of the screaming child … “why can’t they get the kid to be quiet” would be running through my mind.

Once my beloved 2-year-old daughter went into meltdown on the plane, I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do. She wanted to walk the aisle and any attempt in trying to get her to sit on my lap was met with screams and her becoming a wiggle worm. At least walking the aisles, she was reasonably quiet with just the occasional outburst. I felt as if I walked my way back to Chicago through the guilt gauntlet with the fellow passengers staring at me.

I felt horrible for my daughter and also for the other passengers. I kept apologizing to people and one very kind woman smiled and told me; we understand there is nothing you can do. Every parent that travels regularly goes through this. If the child is unhappy; they are unhappy.

So, on my return flight I watched a very anxious young woman follow her daughter up and down the aisle. How I could feel her embarrassment and pain. One of the times she walked by me with her eyes downcast to avoid eye contact with her fellow passengers; I reached out and touched her forearm.

The pain in her eyes almost made me cry. I passed on to her the words that where given to me and also shared briefly I too have walked the aisle following my daughter. I told her with a smile it’s a rite of passage for parents to go through when traveling. People on the plane understand. She gave me a brief smile and a Thank You.

As the plane landed and we were debarking, I smiled as I watched the 2 year old all excited to be at her destination. How wonderful the child was to be in the moment; the pain and discomfort of 30 minutes prior is a forgotten event they have easily let go.

At that moment, I realized a gift the child just gave me. She gave me a great reminder to let go of pain and discomfort when situations have passed. I need to live in the moment and be filled with childlike excitement over the next life experience.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson is a professional woman who understands the challenges of balancing work, home, love and carving time out for you. Her website is filled with blogs, articles and newsletters written specifically for women. To gain access to a free gift designed exclusively for professional women, visit her website at: http://www.steppingintojoy.com