Writer / J. Andy Murphy
The little boy was perhaps 3 or 4 years old. He came into the cafe holding his mom’s hand. They picked the only free table, which was right next to me. When he sat down in the chair, his little legs were stretched out so you could see the bottoms of his shoes, which were nearly worn through. So worn, you could see his socks which didn’t match.
His mom was thin and her face registered a pain that was easy to see. She didn’t go to the register to order. Instead, she took out a coin purse and emptied it on the table, counting out the nickels and dimes — $2.41 to be exact. With that, the mom said, “Okay, my love, you can have chocolate milk but that’s all.”
“I want French fries, mommy…,” replied the boy.
“Not today, but maybe tomorrow,” she answered.
The table on the other side of me hosted a family of three kids around 10 years old. Two boys and a girl. They were fighting with their mom about ordering them more ice cream. She was paying little attention to them, while talking on her phone.
“Eat your hamburgers and fries and then we’ll see,” she finally took time to answer them.
I turned in time to see the little boy staring intently at their untouched food. He was so little, and God only knows how long it had been since he had such a treat.
His mom returned with his chocolate milk. She had a cup of water. At that moment, a server came to her table with hamburgers and fries, a milkshake and a cup of coffee.
“This is for you,” the young server said.
“But I didn’t order this,” the mom said.
“I know. The man who was sitting over there by the window did. He comes in a lot!”
When I left, the little boy was eating with gusto. His mom was wiping away tears. Kindness is something you rarely see. That day, I not only saw it…I felt it!