Recently, I was standing alone in a diner waiting for a table to open up.  As I stood there playing with my phone I was struck by the sound of a woman’s voice.

 “Hola mi amor!”

I looked up and saw a petite woman kneeling in front of me and facing a small child.  Her arms were stretched out and her face boasted a huge smile. I was convinced the child was her niece, or some other family member that she hadn’t seen in a long time.  The woman was almost glowing like a proud parent.  The little girl shyly turned toward her mother and hid her face in her mother’s leg.  The woman stood up and began a conversation with the girl’s mother.  She never stopped smiling as their conversation continued.  By now, her personality had captured the attention of everyone in the lobby.  After their short interaction, the woman walked up to the host and informed the host she had a party of three.  This confused me as there was a total of five in that group; I had assumed they were all together. 

The host wrote down her name and then called out another. The little girl’s mother picked up her daughter and they walked off to their table.  The woman was now sitting with her husband and a much older woman.  As the host returned she called out my name.

She guided me to a booth toward the back of the restaurant and handed me a menu.  After a few moments the waitress came by, took my order and I resumed reading articles off my cell phone.  I got about one line into the first article when the sound of a screaming child pierced my brain and sent my thoughts running in fear.  I looked over to see a small child holding a fork in one hand and a knife in the other.  He sat there screaming out the words, “I want bacon!”, and proceeded to pound the utensils on the table.  His parents ignored his hideous behavior while the rest of the restaurant debated leaving.

After about five minutes of this my nerves were shot. I was ready to hog-tie this child and beat its parents.  However, to my surprise, the woman from the lobby walked over and sat down at the table.  She looked at the child and said, “Hi hunny, so, you must really like bacon?” 

“Yes! It’s my favoritest food ever!” The boy exclaimed.

 “I like bacon too.  Can you quietly tell me why you like it?  But remember, we have to use our inside voice.”  She said while smiling and holding the boy’s hand, thus removing the utensils.

I was blown away!  I was shocked! Not only did she just prevent an uprising in the restaurant, but she gave the child the attention he needed (while setting boundaries) and also demonstrated a lesson to his unprepared parents.  For the next couple minutes she sat at the table, smiling and laughing with the family.  As she got up to leave, the little boy waved and said, “Bye Mrs. B”.

Part of me wanted to hug this woman.  Not because she spared us from that tiny demon, but because her presence naturally made me feel happy.  Her actions all came from something so simple; kindness. 

So, to that beautiful stranger, thank you.  You reminded all of us of something that day.  It’s so easy to get caught up in life and become frustrated and judgmental, but maybe if we all remembered to focus more on kindness and patience, there would be a little more happiness.

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