train speeding by pedestrian
Jade Small
Jade Small
July 1, 2024 ·  4 min read

Stranger waits for boy to fall asleep to hand Mom note

Being a single parent can be difficult, especially when having to travel with your 3-year-old son on a busy train for six hours. However, this mom got the sweetest surprise from the gentleman sitting opposite her on the train. Although this story is a few years old, it’s the sort of feel-good vibe we all need!

For some, traveling can be a stressful thing however, for mothers with toddlers, it’s that and a whole lot more. Mums always need to be one step ahead with a bag of tricks to keep the little one entertained, and if your tricks don’t work? Well, it can feel like all eyes are on you and they are judging from afar, after all, no one likes a screaming child, especially on public transport.

Sammie Welch, was a 23-year-old mom, traveling via train with her 3-year-old son Rylan. This ride was the second of two trips and was going to be a six-hour trip before they got to their final destination. Needless to say, little Rylan was tired and cranky.

A Secret Life of Mom Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that are just too good, too beautiful, or too unbelievable to keep locked away. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to enjoy again. They may make you smile or shed a tear, but they’re always meant to add a little positivity to your day.

Sammie Welch and son
Image Credit: SAMMIEEEE91 | Instagram

Super Mom

Sammie did whatever was necessary to keep Rylan entertained and happy while on the trip. She did so with all sorts of activities such as, counting sheep, reading, coloring, and listening to music on her MP3 player. They even chatted to the other travelers and enjoyed some sandwiches and fruit.

After all the activities, Sammie snuggled little Rylan, and eventually, he fell asleep in her lap. A job well done if you ask us! 

The gentleman in the seat opposite her 

After successfully putting Rylan to sleep Sammie then took the opportunity to rest until the next stop. But what Sammie didn’t know was that there was a passenger in the seat opposite her who had been quietly observing her parenting skills. According to Sammie, she never actually noticed the guy but she definitely stood out to him. 

Read: Grandfather Pens Powerful Open Letter to His Grandkids About Childhood

The letter

Once the mysterious man reached his stop he got up, and tapped Sammie on her shoulder while handing her a folded piece of paper. It said, “I think you dropped this…” and then walked away. Surprised, Sammie sat for the rest of her train ride wondering who he was. 

When she eventually opened the letter he had given her she was not only surprised but grateful for what was within the mysterious letter. 

Not only was it a handwritten letter, there was a £5 note inside too! “Have a drink on me. You are a credit to your generation – polite and teaching the little boy good manners.” 

Image via Silversurfers | Facebook

Read: Boy Rushes to Hug Stranger, Doesn’t Know He’s a Grieving Dad Who Lost His Daughter a Week Ago

That wasn’t all, he had written even kinder words on the back of the letter. 

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!” He ended off the beautiful and inspiring letter by saying, “Man on train at table in glasses & hat. Have a lovely evening.” 

Sammie was so moved by the stranger’s letter that she became determined to find the man so that she could tell him in person just how grateful she was for his words and kind gesture. She eventually took to social media, she shared her story on her social media platforms as well as the news, and it quickly became viral!

Finding the mystery man

Approximately 50 days later, a 50-year-old man named Ken Saunders reached out after seeing the story Sammie had in the newspaper. The mysterious man finally had a name and face and Sammie was finally able to meet him. It turns out Ken was someone who enjoyed performing good deeds. 

As a parent, it’s always such a good feeling being told “You’re doing a great job raising your child.” It was a beautiful gesture that she will never forget, she told Daily Mail

I was just being a normal mum, but when I read the note I felt this incredible warmth. I’ve read it so many times now —you should see the state of it. And every time I read it, I feel warm again. Its effect hasn’t gone and I don’t think it ever will.”

Keep Reading: The “Last hour” with my wife… An amazing appreciation letter from a husband that will make you cry…


  1. “My random acts of kindness don’t always go so well, admits man who gave £5 to mother on the train – I once took two stray dogs to the wrong house!” Daily Mail. January 28, 2015.
  2. Plymouth train mum Sammie Welch given good manners note.BBC. January 26, 2015