Elderly Man Cradles Sleeping Baby So His Mom Can Fill Medical Forms
*Featured image contains photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash
Moms with young babies have learned how to make a variety of situations work: caring for their kids while on the job, cleaning the house, or whipping up dinner while rocking a baby carrier with their foot. But sometimes these strong women just need that extra set of hands when it comes to balancing it all with their families.
Why an Elderly Man Offered to Hold a Stranger’s Sleeping Baby
This brings us to Jade West, a mom visiting the doctor’s office with her baby back in 2018. At the time, her son was sleeping on her shoulder as she was trying to fill out a clipboard of paperwork without waking him. The struggle, as they say, was real. Suddenly, from across the room, an older man who witnessed the situation asked if he could help.
“This gentleman spoke up and said, ‘Ma’am, would you like for me to hold that baby for you while you do that?’” recalled Natasha Wilson, who had also been in the waiting room at the time, to GoodMorningAmerica. “The mother smiled with relief and answered, ‘That would be wonderful!’”
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The man, Joe Hale, walked over and sat next to West and took the baby from her in an incredible act of kindness. He cradled her son, Jayce Billings, in his hand while the baby continued to sleep. “[He] sat and hummed to him and rocked him until he was called back to his room,” Wilson added.
This was something I had never witnessed in my life. I have seven of my own children and people just don’t normally offer help anymore to someone they don’t know.
How a Sweet Interaction Between 2 Strangers Became a Viral Moment
Wilson was so touched she took a photo of the scene. It’s clear from the snapshot that Hale was enjoying the baby snuggles just as much as his mom appreciated having her hands free. It was so sweet, in fact, that after Wilson posted it on Facebook the photograph went viral and news outlets picked up the story.
“I felt relieved and appreciated that he wanted to help, he seemed really genuine,” West told GMA. “He talked about how he never stops being a ‘paw paw’ and how he loved kids and just about my baby in general! He was literally just loving on him and talking to him as if he was his own grandchild and had known him his whole life. He was just the sweetest.”
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At the time, one of the things that especially touched people was that West is Black, Hale is white, and there was an age gap between the pair. Yet in that moment they came together in an astounding moment of compassion and trust.
For a stranger, a white man at that, asking a young Black mother if he could hold her baby to help her out, then the way he loved on that baby like it was his own, it almost puts me to tears every time I think about the love you could see radiate from him for that baby.
“I want people to know that, yes, everyone is different; yes, we all have our own opinions and ways of doing things,” added West. “But when you come across a person with a genuine spirit of caring like the one that I encountered that day, all judgments and prejudices are immediately departed from.”
How One Elderly Man Proved the Importance of Lending a Hand
Struggling parents everywhere will undoubtedly resonate with this story of compassion and kindness. West was in an impossible situation and had she been forced to wake her baby it might have completely shifted the course of her day. Instead, a kind stranger stepped in and offered to help, spreading love and hope in the process.
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It’s a nice reminder for us in our own lives to help struggling parents when we see them, too. Offer to snap a photo of a cute mother-baby moment at the park. Let a dad with a crying kid pass you in line at the grocery store. Or bring a sleep-deprived mom a tea or a coffee. It’s those types of small acts and moments that help parents push through the tough days.
After all, there’s a reason for the saying “it takes a village.” All parents could use any help they can get.
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“People appreciate and never forget that helping hand especially when times are tough.” – Catherine Pulsifer