Parents have all been there. Cradling a baby in one arm who demands to be held while trying to do something else that needs two hands.
Many moms figure out how to clean house with a baby in a carrier strapped to their front side. Or safely prep dinner with a sleepy baby nestled in a sling.
No matter the task at hand, moms find a way to get it done.
Jade West of Florence, Alabama, walked into a doctor’s office one day with her beautiful baby boy Jayce Billings cradled in her arm, his tiny little cheek pressed against her shoulder and his soft baby’s breath blowing on her neck.
When she approached the front desk and checked in, she was handed a clipboard with papers to fill out. Jade made her way to an empty chair, sat down, readjusted her baby boy on her shoulder, then realized she had no way to safely balance him and complete the forms.
She didn’t want to wake him up and have a fussy little baby on her hands. What on earth could she do?
Two chairs away sat a total stranger who was watching Jade’s every move. Joe Hale, a grandpa to seven kiddos, saw the new mom struggling a bit.
But in today’s day and age, he wasn’t sure if he should approach her. He decided to go ahead and offer to lend a helping hand and boy was Jade grateful.
Joe said he would be more than happy to hold Jade’s beautiful sweet baby so she could fill out the papers. Jade eagerly complied.
Grandpa Joe draped the baby over his shoulder, one baby arm laying on Joe’s other shoulder and the other tucked down his side. Joe cradled the baby’s head in his big hand and patted his backside to soothe him.
The peaceful look on Joe’s face as he lavishes attention on the baby is clearly evident in a photo snapped by Natasha Wilson of Florence, Alabama, who happened to be sitting in the same waiting room.
Joe hummed and rocked the baby until he was called back for his appointment. He begrudgingly handed the baby back to his mom, not fulfilled with his baby fix just yet.
“This gentleman from across the room spoke up and said, ‘Ma’am, would you like for me to hold that baby for you while you do that?’ The mother smiled with relief and answered, ‘That would be wonderful!’ 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.”
Natasha shared the photo on Facebook where it went viral. It originally was shared almost half a million times in just a few short days.
Jade told Good Morning America that she couldn’t thank Grandpa Joe enough for his helping hand.
“I felt relieved and appreciated at the fact that he wanted to help, he seemed really genuine. 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.”
The young mother couldn’t get over how much love Grandpa Joe showed her son, a baby he’d never met. She was beyond grateful!
“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.”
Jade wanted people everywhere to understand that kindness comes in all shapes and colors, something Grandpa Joe provided to the world with this viral photo.
I want people to know that, yes, everyone is different; yes, we all have our own opinions and ways of doing things. 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.”
Joe’s generosity and kindness shown to a complete strange will have a lasting impact on Jade, she said.
“This man gave me hope & a sweet memory I’ll never forget!!”
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