My youngest son, 10-year-old Brady, has been Southwest’s biggest fan since as early as he can remember. He is autistic and has been fascinated with Southwest since the earliest flight he recalls—a trip to Disney when he was almost three. He pointed at the pictures of the planes on the walls, stared at the ones at the gate, and waved to the Pilots and Crew as they passed by in the airport.
Of course, he also loves the toy planes they sell in the airport and has created quite the collection. He now has over 20 toy planes—we get one every time we are in the airport—and sleeps with a Southwest blanket he received a couple years ago.
Because of Brady's autism, he has a hard time with loud noises and large crowds. If the flight is full, then he often preboards. When we board he always walks as fast as he can to the very last row of the plane. He loves to proudly sit under the Southwest Heart logo and say hi to Employees.
Brady will take several pictures of the plane we're on and any other Southwest planes parked or taxiing. He usually starts chatting up the Flight Attendants, telling them all about the plane as if it's their first flight. He loves to get smiles, waves, and sometimes even high fives from the Crew and Passengers.
Just as much as Brady loves Southwest, I love to knit. So the idea of creating a Southwest teddy bear was right up my alley and it was so fun to make for him.
I used a pattern from a popular knitter, Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits. She has many different types of animals and outfits to make. For this bear, I took her Boy Bear pattern and came up with a quick knitting chart to put my son's favorite Southwest Heart logo right on its sweater.
My chart is here so others can feel free to use it for anything—cross-stitch, crochet, knitting, Perler beads, and more. It’s perfect for a variety of crafts and I hope you love it as much as we do!
And if you’re not a crafter, then no worries! Southwest currently sells three different Build-A-Bears outfitted as a Pilot, Ramper, or Flight Attendant.
Brady loves his new bear and shows it to anyone and everyone he sees. I can't wait for our next flight in a few months so his bear can meet and greet the Southwest Crew just like Brady loves to do!
We want to thank Southwest for always having kind and compassionate People that work for the Company. Sometimes, a simple smile really helps calm this stressed out mom.