Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Grateful Tuesday: The Man Who Paid for My Meal

After dropping Birch off at school last Thursday, I was in search of somewhere to get breakfast. Though it's hardly amazing food, I knew as soon as I saw it in front of me that Carrow's was the place to go. We pulled in, walked inside, were given a highchair, and ordered an English muffin, fruit, a large grapefruit juice, and French toast for me. Keats and I played quietly as three older men discussed politics, their friends, and their relations. One man spoke up the most, heading the conversation with vigor while another sat completely silent the entire time. The third man, obviously having had meals with these two men on several occasions, questioned the talkative one, trying to steer the conversation back to something they could all talk about. Keats and I ate our food. I pulled apart his toast, skinned his grapes and cut them up, and diced the cantaloupe and honeydew melon ("seasonal" fruit, my foot). It's seasonal somewhere, I guess. We looked at the fan and the lights, played with napkins and his teething ring, and read his book about baby food given to us by his doctor the day before at his check up. When it came time to leave, the restaurant was empty except for Keats and I and the staff. Our server came up to us and announced, "Someone who knows you has paid for your meal and wants me to say that you have a beautiful child." I thanked the server, cleaned up the mess we'd left on the floor around us, left a tip, and collected our things. I had been quite prepared to pay myself and had even ordered sparingly, but someone was still so very kind enough to show someone else that they cared, even if they didn't know me.

So, thank you dear sir. I don't know who you are, where you are, or if I'll ever see you again, but you showed me and my son kindness and I thank you. You made me smile and put a little hop in my walk. The day went by so much smoother after that and I know it is because I had just the right encouragement to keep smiling and keep doing what I'm doing: taking care of my "beautiful child." I love you, Keats, and hope that I'll show others the same kindness this stranger showed for us and that you'll learn to do the same.

Here's to random acts of kindness!

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