Mom traveling with baby stunned by a stranger’s kindness

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By Dan Sears

While fights on planes have become all too common — especially between singletons and families with small children — one local mom recently learned that the skies can still be friendly.

Garden City, New York native Kelly Levine, 32, was anxious about traveling with her 5-month old daughter, Romy, to Mexico for a vacation. She worried about keeping the tot occupied on the long flight. But, on the 5-hour return trip from Cabo San Lucas to Newark, a fellow passenger performed a good deed that’s gone viral.

Meegan Rubin, 49, a Villanova, Pennsylvania-based entrepreneur, was sitting in the aisle seat across from Levine, her husband Jake and Romy. Rubin was crocheting to clam her nerves on the flight, and little Romy was captivated watching her.

“She was just staring at her, mesmerized,” Levine, a real estate agent, said of the free in-flight entertainment.

Meegan Rubin, 49, started to crochet a beanie for 5-month-old Romy mid-flight when she saw the pint-sized passenger gazing at her needlework. @kellyryan49/TikTok
Rubin diverted her plans to finish making a sweater vest to instead craft a hat for Romy, pictured here. @kellyryan49/TikTok
“The baby was so cute and staring at me the entire flight, wide-eyed looking at my hands moving,” Rubin told The Post. @crochetobay/Instagram

Rubin, who learned how to crochet during the pandemic, enjoyed having an audience.

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“The baby was so cute and staring at me the entire flight, wide-eyed looking at my hands moving,” she told The Post.

Rubin had started the flight working on a sweater vest, but, with an hour left in the air, she decided she had to make something for Romy.

“The challenge was to get it done before the flight was over,” she said.

It typically takes her two hours to make a baby hat, but, working feverishly in the air, she completed the impromptu project in just an hour.

Jake and Kelly Levine took their 5-month old daughter Romy on her first flight when they vacationed to Cabo last week. Courtesy of Kelly Levine
Rubin presented Kelly with an oatmeal-colored, pint-sized, Italian wool beanie just as the plane touched down in Newark. Courtesy of Kelly Levine

Just after the plane touched down in Newark, she presented Levine with an oatmeal-colored, pint-sized, Italian wool beanie punctuated with a cheery pom-pom.

“We didn’t know she was working on it,” said Levine, who was so moved by Rubin’s kindness that she shared the story on TikTok. The post, which features photos of her cradling Romy as Rubin crochets next to her, has amassed more than 7 million views since she put it up on Sunday.

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“The coolest thing happened on our babies [sic] flight,” Levine captioned the video.

In the post, she tagged Rubin’s small business, Crochet Obey, which sells handbags, tops, pet accessories and the like, and she’s been flooded with inquiries.

This isn’t the first time Rubin has made a gift for someone she’s just met. Over the years, she’s crafted items for waiters and Uber drivers.

Rubin says she enjoys creating crochet keepsakes for strangers she meets as a way to spread kindness.
Courtesy of Kelly Levine
Rubin has been flooded with inquiries on her business page, Crochet Obey, about her unique Italian wool crochet creation. She’s modeling one top she made here. @crochetobay/Instagram
A handbag designed by Rubin using crochet needlework. @crochetobay/Instagram

“I have this thing where whenever I’m traveling, I like to crochet. I always make little tokens of appreciation for strangers,” Rubin said, adding that she’s “never been flagged” by TSA for bringing her hooks on a flight because they have rounded edges.

Rubin and Levine exchanged numbers and have become fast friends, and Levine said she now feels optimistic, not anxious, about taking trips with Romy.

“You hear about moms who are coming onto planes with gift cards saying ‘sorry for your troubles,’ when their kids are crying on flights. Everyone prepares to explain or apologize, so for someone to not only be so kind and accommodating, but also generous, made us feel so much better about traveling in the future,” Levine said.

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“You never know who you’re going to sit next to. She was an angel.”

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