I read a blog tonight that reminded me of an experience I had with a server at a fast food restaurant. I thank you for the inspiration http://blessedwithastarontheforehead.wordpress.com. Reading what you wrote tonight made me remember my story. So here I am to tell it, I went away for the long weekend with my kids and we were out of our routine. With my youngest son having SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) too many transitions, lack of self regulation, and the busy noise of the world can be a lot for him to handle. I try my best to keep us on routine with his sensory “diet” but all the newness of people, places, things, can cause issues for him. We had gone out for lunch to Wendy’s and it was very busy. I was with my brothers so I went up with my kids to order. There was a long line up and I was praying we’d be served quickly. My oldest son was doing his best to keep his brother occupied, by singing and making silly faces. That’s when it all started as my son threw himself on the floor. I felt the judgmental looks, heard the angry whispers, instantly as my out of control child started reacting to his environment. I picked him up and held him the best I could. Holding my toddler is like holding a bag of snakes! Then he started shrieking which starts out as singing, yelling, and then full blown “stimming” as he seeks out sensory input. A sensory meltdown is what ensues if I can’t help regulate and calm him. It’s hard for me not to be embarrassed even though I’ve been through it before. I avoid restaurants for this very reason, as well as all the judgement that follows.
And then our server appeared and she smiled and said “you look like you could use some help Mom.” I smiled and said “you have no idea how much I’d appreciate that.” She took our order and talked to my son like he was the most fascinating person she’d had ever seen. She also gave him a cup to play with. He just beamed at her with his sweet smile and stopped shrieking. I breathed a sigh of relief and I felt everyone around me did as well. I got my food and sat down to eat and my brother said “I don’t know how you do it.” I replied “I don’t think about it, I just get it done.” After we ate I went up to say thank you, and my server said she had been there before, and remembered what it was like. I smiled and said it was a blessing all the same and she was making a difference in the world. I left the restaurant and buckled my kids in their seats, and I heard someone calling my name. I turned around and it was wonderful her, she came up to thank me. She asked me if I’d fill out a comment card, as her boss said she needed to be recognized. I agreed not only for her excellent customer service, but her compassion as well. I looked at her name tag after introducing myself and saw her name was Angel. I gave her a big hug and went on my way hopeful that I could get through another tough day. When I wanted to cry and run away and hide my son from all that negativity. It takes seconds to return a smile, and a lifetime to forget ones never given. Thank you Angel for being an angel that day, and your cup of kindness. ❤️