As many parents have learned several times over, bringing your children out to eat in a restaurant can be downright traumatizing. Not only are kids capable of making an enormous mess and bothering other eaters with not-so-random tantrums, it’s also quite difficult to feed a child while simultaneously trying to feed yourself. Instead of other patrons or employees offering to help, oftentimes we are at the receiving end of dirty looks, which in addition to the emotional strain of the current kid situation, feels pretty crappy.
In a story that has gone viral, a Little Rock, Arkansas mother and husband experienced firsthand that strangers can save the day.
Dallas French and her husband recently stopped in for a meal at their local Olive Garden, following an afternoon at the hospital with their baby. Their 4-month-old daughter Ellee had just tested positive for E.coli, and the whole family was exhausted. Their dining experience wasn’t looking too promising.
“I was really out of it (and probably from the lack of sleep this past month),” French wrote on the Olive Garden’s Facebook page, “but we went to Olive Garden in Little Rock after Ellee’s tests at children’s hospital and she was starving and I was trying to make a bottle and spilled it all over me an the floor [sic].”
French started making another bottle for her baby, but then their waiter surprised her by doing a little more than dropping their food off.
“Our waiter (wish I knew his name) watched all that happened and had just brought our salad and bread sticks and said ‘Here let me feed her and you eat.’”
The touching photo accompanying her post, which has been shared over 29k times, depicts the waiter leaning over the booth and feeding Ellee in her car seat.
“This melted all of us and this is what we need more of,” she continued. “He fed her, I ate my salad and bread sticks, and that milk on the floor got cleaned up after we left because he just understood!”
Dallas French was touched to say the least, because the waiter had no idea what was even going on in their lives. His intentions were purely selfless.
“He didn’t even know what we had went through that day and showed us love an understanding — not irritated that I had made a mess an my baby was screaming… Gosh I wish I woulda got his name because he deserves the recognition [sic]!!”
Like the French family, I have been on the receiving end of a kind and selfless act of a good Samaritan in a restaurant. A few months ago, I attempted to eat dinner with my elderly father, toddler son, and newborn baby girl at our local P.F. Chang’s. It was bad enough that my daughter was inconsolably crying, but the added bonus of my son crawling under the table and refusing to eat his food had me close to a mental breakdown. Luckily for me, a woman sitting across the way came over and insisted on holding my crying baby so I could eat.
Also similar to French, I didn’t get my hero’s name, because it took a day to process how monumental the seemingly small gesture was.
The next time you witness a parent struggling in a public situation, don’t let yourself be annoyed. Instead, be empowered. I strongly urge you to step out of your comfort zone and try out the “pay it forward” method. It is from small and simple acts of kindness, as demonstrated by this Olive Garden employee, that we are reminded of the simple truth that human beings are inherently kind.
h/t: Scary MommyMore On