This shout-out is for Tom who, on the Denver to Cleveland flight, gave up seat 12D — an awesome aisle seat with extra leg room — and switched to a middle seat that did not recline, in order to accommodate my kids and I when our boarding passes called for us to sit apart. You just told me, “No problem. Life is too short to worry about airplane seating,” and went on your way.  I wanted to kiss you.

And as someone who worries quite a bit about airplane seating, I thank you for your perspective.

You see, I seldom fly the friendly skies. My children and I travel pretty frequently. But, all too often, we fly the hostile why-can’t-you-keep-your-kids-in-line-you-slacker-of-a-parent? skies. People do not want to sit by us on airplanes. We always spill our drinks. Sometimes we smell like poop. My son kicks the seat. Of course, I stop him, but he usually gets in a few solid thwacks before I hold his feet still.

And, I am embarrassed to say that, up until fairly recently, I thought my carry-on area was under my own seat.  So I never understood why people complained about the lack of leg room on airplanes. I always had plenty.  And none of my obviously put-upon travelers ever told me what an irritating traveling companion I was.

So thank you, Tom, on the Denver flight, for making it feel like no big deal that my noisy, smelly kids and I were on an airplane. Even though we are a hassle, it is nice to not always feel like one.

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