Parents, who's with me when I say that going out to a restaurant with small children is about as relaxing as a root canal? Of course it's fun to take the kids out to eat, but there typically is more wrangling, cleaning, and wiping up going on than, well, actual eating. And then there's the thought in the back of your head, when the kids start to act up, that everyone else in the restaurant wants to collectively burn you at the stake for ruining their dining experience. It can be tough. And if you happen to be a single mom with three kids -- including two who have special needs -- it can be even tougher.
More from The Stir: Mother Is Brought to Tears By Stranger's Note About Her Special Needs Son
A mom, who wishes to remain nameless, has been taking her kids out to a new restaurant every Friday night for the past few years. And when she brought her three children out to a Pizza Hut recently, she apologized in advance for the noise her family to a man who was sitting nearby.
However, much to this single mom's delight, the man didn't mind the noise and chaos one bit. In fact, he surreptitiously paid for her family's meal and left her a note bound to make any mother cry.
The note read:
I do not know your back story, but I have had the privilege of watching you parent your children for the past 30 minutes. I have to say thank you for parenting your children in such a loving manner.
I have watched you teach your children about the importance of respect, education, proper manners, communication, self control, and kindness all while being very patient. I will never cross your path again but am positive that you and your children have amazing futures.
Keep up the good work and when it starts to get tough do not forget that others may be watching and will need the encouragement of seeing a good family being raised. God bless! -Jake.
After receiving such a kind gesture from a stranger, the mom told ABC News, "You just don't know what people go through. Here I've had the worst few years of my life and I never get recognition like this, I just do what I can to get by. I want him and his family to know that he's awesome. You never know who's watching you."
If anyone ever deserved a free meal and some recognition, it's this woman. It sounds like she's had a tough few years, yet has managed to remain a good mother and a positive influence for her three kids. It was just a small gesture, but to this woman, it meant the world -- the note more so than the free meal.
It's nice to see that there are some kind souls in the world who actually can find the good in sitting next to a noisy family. Moms, let's all hope we're so lucky to sit near them the next time we go out to eat with our kids. We don't need our tab picked up or a note, but just knowing that someone out there, a complete stranger, recognizes all we do for our families sounds really nice.
Has a stranger ever randomly done something kind for you?