U.S. Markets closed

Dad says man who bonded with toddler at the airport showed her 'kindness and compassion'

Elise Solé
Las Vegas dad Kevin Armentrout took a photo of a stranger bonding with his toddler at the airport. (Photo: Kevin Armentrout via Facebook)

A stranger who showed a little girl “kindness and compassion” at the airport is now her superstar.

On Saturday, Kevin Armentrout, a public speaker in Las Vegas, wrote a Facebook post about a traveler named Joseph Wright, a field sales manager at Samsung in Oklahoma, who took joy in entertaining his 16-month-old daughter, Carter Jean, at the airport.

“Last night, while waiting to board our plane, [Carter Jean] was being her usual inquisitive self wanting to meet and say ‘hi’ to everyone she could, until she walked up on this man,” Armentrout wrote. “He reached out and asked if she wanted to sit with him. He pulled out his tablet and showed her how to draw with it, they watched cartoons together, and she offered him snacks. This wasn’t a short little exchange, this was 45 minutes. Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her.”

He wrote, “In a country that is continuously fed that it’s so deeply divided by beliefs, I want her life to be filled with moments like this… not liberal or conservative republican or democrat, socialist or capitalist, just HUMAN.  Joseph…if this should happen to find you, thank you for showing my daughter what kindness and compassion look like. Continue to shine your light in the world.”

Armentrout tells Yahoo Lifestyle that his daughter toddled right up to Wright, who was working on a tablet and started touching his leg, so he held her back. “I’m conscious of people’s personal space, so I tried to steer her away, but Joseph said, ‘Let her come up.'”

Wright allowed his daughter to draw on his tablet, then played a Charlie Brown cartoon, and she offered him a bite of her cheese puffs. “There were a few moments she screamed and tried to get into his work calendar, but he couldn’t care less,” Armentrout tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Joseph asked her if the Patriots would win the Super Bowl and she said no.”

Kevin Armentrout said a total stranger at the airport befriended his young daughter. (Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Armentrout)

Armentrout made his Facebook post public because, as he tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “I wanted Joseph to know his gesture was huge. I’m trying to expose my daughter to people of different races, cultures and generations, and that was received with kindhearted warmth.”

Friends and co-workers commented that a stranger had described Wright perfectly. “…I can tell you he is indeed a great man and he is awesome with kids of all ages!” wrote one. 

“I first met [Joseph] in school in 1976…this is exactly how he was then and throughout our years in school…beautiful human being then and now,” confirmed someone. Wright’s friend of 40 years wrote, “He’s been that way as long as I’ve known him…” and a person wrote, “…truly a wonderful guy, this doesn’t surprise me one bit!”

Armentrout tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “Apparently, this guy is the real deal! It makes me feel even better about him.”

Wright did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.