Much has been made of a mystery British man who left a kind note, together with a £5 ($9) bill, praising a young single mom on a train. And frankly, I'm struggling to grasp the reason for all the hoopla in the media.
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"Have a drink on me. You are a credit to your generation, polite and teaching the little boy good manners," read the note. "PS I have a daughter your age, someone did the same for her once. Hope when she has children she is as good a mother as you. Have a lovely evening."
What did 23-year-old single mom Samantha Welch do that was so mind-blowing? She looked after her three year-old son, instilling good manners and keeping him busy. Forgive me, but isn't that what parents do? Doesn't that kind of come with the territory of being a mom?
Was it the fact that she's in her early 20s, the fact that she's a single mom, or a combination of the two that somehow confounded the man's expectations? Because there are stellar and less-than-stellar examples of motherhood everywhere.
Age and relationship status has exactly nothing to do with a person's ability to parent.
Notwithstanding that random acts of kindness like that of Ken Saunders are incredibly cool, the way it's been blown up speaks to the preconceptions the 50 year-old man himself —and society at large— have of young single moms.
No one knows this more than Welch, who was so inordinately touched by the man's gesture that she sought to find him on Facebook. Essentially to thank him in person for thanking her.
“People look at you and judge you every day when you’re a single mum but getting that note made me feel special and proud," said Welch. "That might sound silly, but all I’m trying to do is make a better life for my son.”