Landon had an amazing trip, thanks to Ben, who went out of his way to help the boy feel comfortable.
Flights can be unnerving even as adults. So you can probably imagine how a parent would worry for their child whose traveling alone on a flight. This worry only intensifies when you know your child has a condition. Alexa Bjornson sent her 7-year-old son Landon Bjornson who has high-functioning autism to visit his dad in Portland, but she knew it could be a bit difficult for him, so she was prepared. She gave him a letter that explained his condition, along with $10, which he could give to his seatmate so they would be a bit more understanding. However, Alexa and the world was just not ready for what took place in the flight.
"I was feeling anxious and [Landon] was super excited to get to his dad and cousins. I was more worried about missing him then how HE would do on the plane. That was probably his 5th or 6th flight so he knows what to do and how to act. I was just worried about him being 'annoying' to his seat partner,” Alexa told Bored Panda. Still, she knew that her worry should not stop him from having a fun time.
"This year we had a newborn baby, and funds were too low for me to fly 3 of us there and then 2 of us back. Landon was also having some bullying issues so we just wanted him to be able to enjoy the rest of his summer!" she explained. Honestly, she had nothing to worry about, because not only did Landon have a safe flight, he also found himself a seatmate who was considerate and patient, and even went out of his way to send out a note of appreciation to Alexa, telling her that she's a lucky mom!
Alexa took to Facebook to reveal what happened on that flight. She wrote: "Today my son took his first flight to Oregon to see his dad. I sent Landon with a letter to give to whoever sat next to him saying he has high functioning autism so he might be nervous and ask you 'are we there yet' a lot, and please just make him feel safe and comfortable, with 10 dollars in the note. And this is what I just received. I am so grateful to this individual, and that there are still kind people in the world who make a difference like I try myself to do as well. Thank you so much, Ben!!!!"
Basically, the note Ben sent said that he was Landon's seatmate during the course of the flight, and even though he did ask if they'd arrived several times, Ben assured Alexa that he was a great travel buddy. Ben then added that the two of them had a good time and they even played a few rounds of 'Rock Paper Scissors'. He wrote: "He's a great kid and you're a lucky mom." He also mentioned how the $10 wasn't necessary, but he still took it, and instead of keeping it to himself, donated it to the Autism Society in honor of Landon.
The mother was moved by Ben’s thoughtful response. "I felt total relief and humbled when I got Ben’s message. I was overwhelmed and did cry a few tears just to see the humanity and love that still exists in the world." Alexa also mentioned that like her, other parents must also let their kids learn on their own. She added, "Do what you think is best for your children and let them experience what life has to offer. We can’t teach them to be 'scared' of the world. Because one day we won’t be here to guide them and they need to be prepared and have experiences like everyone else. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of what others have to say, because they are not in your shoes.”