We went out for an early supper after Steven's adaptive bowling game last Saturday. We chose Famous Dave's, and settled in for some barbecue.
Steven loved his seat, since he could see alllll the ladies moving in and out of the kitchen to serve tables, and his whiplash even made the people at the next table crack up and cheer him on. It was hard to even hose off the sauce on his face, since it was a moving target.
I was content to make googly-eyes at the adorable baby with the family seated behind us. <3
Steven tends to be the party wherever he goes, but it was time to go... but our server approached our table empty-handed.
He said someone who wished to remain anonymous had already paid for our meal. The look on Steven's face was priceless, and I'm sure I looked plenty surprised as well! I think the server was enjoying it, teasing us a bit that they may or may not still be in the building, but they didn't want us to know. :)
I told him to make sure to thank them if they were, and tell them we appreciated it. Not knowing who to thank is an odd feeling, but it sure does color one's perception. Since it could be ANYBODY, it makes you remember that we all have the potential to be kind and generous. It feels like a glimpse of how Steven seems to see the world, where everyone is his friend.
I like the way it looks from there. Was it the table enjoying his antics? The family behind us? Someone we didn't even interact with? I'll never know, but I appreciate them.
I recently read a letter to the editor from a friend of mine about her own experience in Walmart:
By: Brenda Schmid, Fargo, INFORUM
To the kind man at Wal-Mart:
Sunday (Nov. 3), I was shopping at Wal-Mart on 52nd in Fargo with my daughter Hannah. When shopping with Hannah I push her in her wheelchair and pull a shopping cart behind us. We are a “small train.”
During our shopping outing, we were “huffed” at by a woman as she burned by us with her cart, obviously in a hurry; we were in her way. Rounding a corner with a truck-like turn we were greeted by another shopper. I apologized for taking up so much room. She responded with an eye roll as she backed up so we could make the turn.
Further down the aisle I said, “Excuse me” to a shopper as I shuffled Hannah and my cart to one side so she could pass. She passed without word or glance.
Hannah was unfazed by the shoppers’ behavior. She vocalized and smiled at all who passed by. You see, we tell Hannah the reason people stare is because she is beautiful and her smile is worth an extra glance, which is true.
I silently asked, “What is wrong with people? When did this world become cold and selfish?” Thankful my shopping list was short, I made my way to the express checkout lane, head high, pretending not to notice the stares. Most days these things roll off, but some days they hurt.
In line Hannah was greeted with a smile from the woman in front of us – finally a spark of humanity. Usually 20 items or less means express checkout. Not this day. The nice woman ahead of us was patient with the clerk who struggled with his till.
Then it was our turn. I placed my household necessities on the counter, reached for my purse and, BAM, the gentleman behind me swiped his credit card through the scanner. I thought he was confused, so I asked him what he was doing. He said he wanted to pay for my items. We had a conversation that consisted of “you don’t have to do that,” and his response, “I know. I want to.” I asked his name, but he shook his head. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. I introduced myself and rolled Hannah back to him and explained what he had done for us. She smiled a big “thank you.” I thanked him again for his kindness and generosity. (My merchandise cost more than $50.)
I said goodbye and wished him a blessed day. Tears rolled down my face as we walked to the van. How did he know I needed a dose of kindness? That’s the thing. You never know what others are going through. Maybe the shoppers I met that day had heavy hearts. We’ve all had bad days; no one is exempt. But not everyone gets to experience pure kindness like I did.
Some might conclude he did it because Hannah is in a wheelchair and he felt sorry for us. I’ve seen the “pity look,” and there was no pity in his face. I don’t know his name, but I know his heart. I wish he knew how he healed my heart that day.
One of Hannah's smiles would be a reward to treasure, that's for sure. <3
So thank you, whoever you are, and know how much you matter.